Abstract 2598: Towards an electrochemical serum-based platform for early diagnosis and stratification of glioma

Christopher Rinaldi, Ashton G. Theakstone, Damion Corrigan, Paul Brennan, Matthew J. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Abstract Development of an electrochemical diagnostic test would provide quantitative detection of biomarkers characteristic of clinical serum samples that may facilitate early detection and triage of glioma patients in the clinical setting. Today, 32 individuals will receive a confirmatory diagnosis of a brain tumor in the UK, equivalent to 3% of all patients diagnosed with cancer annually. Implications for patients and families are tragic, brain cancer is responsible for >5,000 mortalities annually in the UK, with 20.1 mean years of life lost to the disease per patient, greater than any other cancer. Presently, ~22% of brain cancer patients receive diagnosis through GP referral, with over a third of patients attending their health practice on five occasions prior to diagnosis. Brain tumor symptoms are diverse and often non-specific in the absence of epileptic seizures, with an extremely poor positive predictive value. Consequently, suspected patients experience significant diagnostic delays, with significant time spent in primary care settings. Heightened symptoms often translates to emergency presentation, where >60% of brain cancer patients currently receive diagnosis, associated with reduced survival compared to non-emergency pathways. Hence, earlier detection of brain cancer patients is a clinical need within primary care settings to prevent significant diagnostic delays and improve patient outcomes. Introduction of a widespread screening program with medical imaging modalities is not economically viable for early detection of brain cancer given high test costs and low incidence in the general population. However, a recent health economic study suggested a blood-based test may prove cost saving to NHS services if employed to triage brain tumor patients for medical imaging in primary and secondary care. Blood is fundamental to physiological function of cells and their perpetual interaction provides a rich source of endogenous molecules that may reflect biochemical events of gliomagenesis. Our current work towards development of a blood-based electrochemical platform for brain cancer focuses on screening of clinical serum samples for a large panel of cytokines from confirmed patients with glioma tumor types. Thereafter, our work demonstrates electrochemical detection of elevated cytokine biomarkers identified within our serum samples. Previously, we demonstrated the potential of this platform technology for early detection of Hodgkin lymphoma, with successful discrimination between cancerous and non-cancerous patient samples, which we now hope to extend to early detection of brain cancer. Implementation of a low-cost, point-of-care triage blood test for brain cancer would have significant clinical and economical benefits, ultimately facilitating the promotion of early detection strategies in primary care to enable timely cancer diagnosis and improve patient outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2598-2598
Number of pages1
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13_Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • cancer research
  • oncology
  • giloma
  • early diagnosis


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