Holy grail of cancer detection is a “yes or no” test for subclinical cancer. CD24 molecule level is one test for early cancer. Mutations in APC gene can also signal early cancer presence. Or increased risk for many cancers. Leading cancer expert explains.
You mentioned that you work on particular tumor markers. They are overexpressed on the circulating normal blood cells. You published several very interesting papers on a CD24 early cancer marker. You also did research on the polymorphism of APC gene. Please describe how those tumor markers can help detect early cancer. Polymorphism of the APC gene is very interesting. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We have 3 billion bases in our genome. There could be a mutation in one of the DNA building blocks in the gene of APC in position 1307. There is an exchange of one amino acid, isoleucine, for valine. It can tell us that mutation carriers are susceptible to cancer more than the general population. Especially for men. Men with APC gene mutation are susceptible to more than eight cancers They are all different cancers. And there is an increased cancer mortality rate. Women with APC gene mutation are less vulnerable to cancers. Women are prone to three cancers: colon cancer, breast cancer, and skin cancer. But surprisingly, the overall outcome cancer survival is better. Cancer patients with APC gene mutation do better than non-carriers. This is just an example what a simple early cancer blood test can tell us. It is a single nuclear polymorphism in our genome. It can tell that this particular person is at a significant increased risk of having cancer. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. We published results of early cancer detection test. And from my daily clinical practice, I know it is working. I tell a patient to do this routine cancer detection checkup. I tell them this. You should do a cancer screening test. But this early cancer detection test is also based on your genome. Obtain medical second opinion on cancer. Then the acceptance rate for cancer screening is much higher. CD24 is not a new gene. CD24 was gene number 24 that was found. Today we have over 250 CD genes. CD24 was one of the few earlier genes. But not many research groups are working on CD24. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We believe that CD24 is a very important gene for early cancer detection. It is very important to play role upstream. CD24 gene is involved in many pathways, especially in cancer pathways. CD24 is rarely expressed on normal cells. Only on B lymphocytes. CD24 has some importance in the development of the brain, kidneys and some other organs. But when you have the mouse knockout CD24 phenotype, it is normal. But we do see that CD24 is overexpressed on all cancers. This tells us that CD24 has general importance in cancer formation. It's a general phenomenon in the development of cancer. This is something that I like. Because if you can use CD24 to detect cancer, or to treat cancer, we can have one test and one medicine for many cancers. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We do that in the lab in mice. Now we are switching detection and treatment of early cancer in human beings. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. It is interesting the APC is not just the polymorphism. One single nucleotide just could be present in a normal individual. But it could indicate the increased risk for eight different cancers. It is not only a risk factor for colorectal cancer? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Exactly, exactly! Between 1.5% and 2% of people carry APC gene polymorphism. It is a lot of people. They have 50 to 100% more likelihood or risk to develop cancer than the general population. This is quite significant! This is what I have established. You're going to come to discuss my unique Integrative Cancer Prevention Centre. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We tell people with APC gene mutation. At least once a year you have to come to my clinic here in Tel Aviv Medical Center. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We have to do this routine screening for different cancers, because you are prone to develop cancer. I'm against ostrich strategy in cancer screening. Dr. Nadir Arber, MD. We have to look with open eyes. If we are susceptible to cancer, we have to try to detect it early. It is even better to prevent cancer. Certainly! Well, that's the only strategy to go forward, clearly! And CD24 importance in early cancer detection is this. Normally, if a person does not have any risk of cancer, CD24 will be expressed at the low level. If cancer risk increases, CD24 will then start to be expressed at higher level. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. In other words, the strategy could be to get checked at regular intervals for the CD24 expression on all blood cells? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Exactly! Once a year. Once a year! This is the magic number, obviously. There is no published medical literature. But I believe that if you do early cancer screening once a year, then it's something that is doable. It's like testing your car. You can do it once a year.