Improving Early Diagnosis of Childhood Cancer

Young Cancer Patient

WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer backs steps to advance technology and change the lives of children with cancer.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a new Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer; with the aim of reaching at least a 60% survival rate for children with cancer by 2030. This new target represents a doubling of the global cure rate for children with cancer.

With 300,000 new cases diagnosed each year among children aged 0-19 years, significant improvements can be made in the lives of children with cancer through early detection; avoiding delays in care. A correct diagnosis is essential to treat children with cancer because each type requires a specific treatment regimen that may include surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

A child with Cancer and Mother

Designed specifically with the goals of early diagnosis and differentiation in mind, ANCON Medical’s Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) is the ideal technology to help with the WHO Initiative, offering non-invasive detection of an array of diseases through a simple breath test. At just a fraction of the cost of current methods, the NBT can identify diseases and viruses within minutes. With early and fast identification, cancer is more likely to respond to effective treatment and result in a greater probability of survival, less suffering, and often less expensive and less intensive treatment.

NBT technology works by detecting “biomarkers” in a breath, which are DNA-protein controlled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) metabolites specific to diseases. These VOCs are the “fingerprints” of disease and NBT is far more sensitive than current screening methods. Whereas similar technology can require a concentration of thousands of biomarker molecules to detect the presence of a disease or virus, the NBT can detect concentrations as small as a single molecule.

“ANCON Medical’s NBT device is a much better alternative than CT scans early on and far cheaper too,” said Wesley Baker, CEO of ANCON Medical. “It can screen a wide range of at-risk individuals, allowing doctors to discover the presence of pathologies at an early state. For many, once cancer is diagnosed, it is too late. For example, with lung cancer diagnosis, more than half die within one year. NBT has the potential to find lung cancer in its earliest stages, where more than 57 per cent has a five-year survival rate.”

The WHO Initiative is announced on the heels of the Third Global High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases, which convened dozens of heads of state and ministers from all countries to prompt more urgent action on noncommunicable diseases – among them cancer, diabetes, heart and lung diseases – which killed 41 million people each year. Through the Initiative, WHO will support governments to assess current capacities in cancer diagnosis and treatment including the availability of medicines and technologies; set and cost priority cancer diagnosis and treatment programmes; and integrate childhood cancer into national strategies, health benefits packages and social insurance schemes.

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