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There is now a blood test that will accurately detect early cancer of all types. It has an accuracy of greater than 95%. If the test is repeated, the accuracy is greater than 99%. That is to say, that false positive and false negative rates are less than 1%. The test is called AMAS.
Twenty-one years ago a neurochemist, Samuel Bogoch, M.D., Ph.D., discovered a test for cancer antigen, similar to today’s PSA for prostate cancer and CEA for colorectal cancer. With hard work and good sound research, he found the first anticancer antibody in the bloodstream of patients with cancer. He named the new antigen malignin, and called new the new antibody Anti-Malignin Antibody. Hew founded a laboratory in Boston called Oncolab, Inc. the test has been finally patented, and the FDA has granted permission to market this test.
We have been following the development of this test for the past five to eight years, however. It was not quite workable as a test that could be easily utilized by practicing physicians. At present, the test and the procedures in utilizing it have been refined and it is workable. A recent newsletter from the Friend Foundation For Medical Research, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1995, gives a descriptive summary of the AMAS test to date.
Doctors will be using the AMAS test around the world. There are three indications and uses for this test.
The usual examination in a doctor’s office today includes a history, a physical examination and selected laboratory tests aimed at detecting potential problems including cancer. With the use of the AMAS test, the doctor will be able to defer or eliminate chest x- rays, sigmoidoscopy, CT scans, possibly even mammograms and PAP tests, unless the AMAS is abnormal. All blood donors and transplant donors and recipients will be screened by AMAS to insure there is no chance of spreading undiagnosed viral-induced cancer. Life and disability insurance companies will surely want to know your AMAS status before underwriting a new policy or renewing an old one.
This is exciting to us because we have been prevention-minded for our entire medical career. The problem with cancer is that, like other diseases, it is not detectable until it’s advanced. The other exciting idea here is that many cancers will be able to be prevented because tainted blood transfusions or transplant organs will be able to be screened, preventing the transplantation of cancer into an already sick patient. We all realize it is better to find a small cancer early than big cancer later. The cancers that are detected at an earlier stage are ones that have the highest possibility of a permanent cure.
After any cancer has been treated the patient, as well as the doctor, wants to know if the cancer has been cured or if some malignancy may remain in the body. Breast cancer is a good example. Published data show that when surgery has been curative, the AMAS value returns to normal. If any cancer remains, AMAS will continue to be elevated. Cancer specialists will be able to precisely recommend radiation and chemotherapy only for those patients who need it.
If there is a shadow on a chest x-ray, a spot in the liver CT scan, a suspicious area on a mammogram, or an enlarged lymph node on an MRI, generally a needle biopsy or an open surgical biopsy is necessary to tell whether or not the tissue is cancerous. If the AMAS is normal, the lesion in question is not a cancer. In the future, the AMAS test should dramatically reduce the number of invasive biopsies, needless pain and suffering, and reduce the cost of medicine.