BCAL Diagnostics revolutionises breast cancer detection in Hyderabad

By Our Reporter
BCAL Diagnostics Executive Chair Jayne Shaw // Pic supplied

BCAL Diagnostics, an ASX-listed company, has recently announced a groundbreaking collaboration with two prestigious hospitals in Hyderabad, India: the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and the Basavatarakam Indo-American Hospital. This partnership marks the initiation of a pilot study to explore the feasibility of BCAL’s innovative blood-based lipidomic test, BREASTEST, for the early detection of breast cancer in India.

Breast cancer remains a formidable health challenge in India, where the survival rates for women diagnosed with the disease starkly contrast with those in countries like the USA and Australia. The late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer is a significant contributor to these disparities. While the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed in India from 2010 to 2014 was 66.1%, it was considerably higher in the USA (90.2%) and Australia (89.5%). This difference highlights the urgent need for improved diagnostic methods that can detect breast cancer early when the survival rate can surge to as high as 99%.

The current global standard for breast cancer screening, mammography, faces several limitations in India. These include a lack of accessibility, particularly in rural areas, a severe shortage of skilled radiologists, and cultural barriers that deter many women from seeking tests unless the disease reaches an advanced stage. Additionally, mammography’s ineffectiveness in younger women and concerns about radiation exposure further complicate its utility as an effective screening tool in India. The financial cost of mammography also makes it inaccessible for many, especially in poorer rural areas, exacerbating the cancer burden.

Enter BCAL’s BREASTEST, a blood test that could potentially address these challenges. The test is positioned as a more accessible and culturally acceptable alternative, eliminating the need for radiation exposure and relying less on specialised human resources. The collaboration between BCAL Diagnostics and the two Hyderabad-based hospitals aims to evaluate the practicality of implementing the test’s sample collection and preparation workflows in these settings. The processed samples will be analysed in BCAL’s laboratory in Sydney, Australia, with the results sent back to the Indian investigators.

If the clinical studies prove successful, this could pave the way for a broader collaboration, offering Indian women a more accessible and acceptable option for breast cancer screening. This development could be a game-changer in the field of oncology, particularly in India, where the need for early and efficient cancer detection methods is critical.

BCAL Diagnostics’ initiative represents more than just a technological advancement; it’s a beacon of hope for countless women in India, potentially transforming the landscape of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. The success of this pilot study could not only improve survival rates but also inspire further innovations in the healthcare sector, ultimately contributing to a healthier, more resilient community.

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