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Liver Cancer Is Being Diagnosed Early In Bangladeshis, Says An Expert



Liver Cancer Is Being Diagnosed Early In Bangladeshis, Says An Expert

(CTN News) – In Bangladesh, the average age at liver cancer onset is 18 years younger than in other countries, according to Prof Mamun Al Mahtab Shwapnil, one of the key developers of the new cancer test.

In Bangladesh, like in India, patients come to us at an advanced stage when there is little that can be done to cure them.

The only option is palliation, he told the Dhaka Tribune.

In collaboration with Hong Kong-based biotech firm HKG Epitherapeutics Ltd, Bangladesh’s icddr,b, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), and scientists have developed a simple test that can detect liver cancer early.

BSMMU’s Interventional Hepatology Division head, Prof Shwapnil, led the study. Also, he led the development of advanced hepatitis B-Nasvac drugs.

The new test will revolutionize cancer management worldwide, he said.

Historically, hepatitis B was not included in routine immunization as most patients with liver cancer were between the ages of 30 and 45, the most productive years in our country.

In Bangladesh, the hepatitis B vaccine was introduced into the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) during 2003-2005.

A timely diagnosis is crucial to a cure, which the new test can ensure.

Liver cancer is now difficult to detect and expensive to treat. An Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test is the first step. AFP levels are not a perfect indicator of liver cancer.

The AFP levels of many patients with liver cancer are normal.

They recommend ultrasounds or CT scans. CT scans provide a more accurate image. Patients who are required to undergo this procedure every six months are also at risk.

Cancers and non-cancerous conditions can also raise AFP levels.

Sequencing and multiplexing techniques distinguish HCC samples from normal tissues, other blood samples, and non-HCC tumour samples.

Associated with cirrhosis and NASH caused by hepatitis B or C, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer.

A study group evaluated the assay on 554 participants, including liver patients, non-liver cancer patients, chronic hepatitis B patients, and healthy individuals.

In a registry of clinical trials run by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, the results showed 84.5% sensitivity and 95% specificity for early cancer detection.

According to Prof Shwapnil, he first received the offer to be a partner in publication.

“No, but I can be involved if the test is made available in Bangladesh,” he said. It was agreed.”

ICDD,B processed the samples, and the Hong Kong-based lab tested them.

There is a well-validated study. It has also been studied in the Chinese population. The results were the same. So we can go commercial anytime,” he said.

Commercial testing is estimated to cost $5 million to install the complete set-up.

In addition, we are encouraging a local company to bring medicine. Once we detect the disease early, we must cure it with drugs.

S-acetyl methionine (SAMe) is a drug in the world that is not produced by companies. Neither it is patented nor is it expensive. We can give them a drug if we detect it early in Bangladesh. He described it as a vitamin-type drug.

Approximately 8-12 percent of admissions to our public medical college hospitals are related to liver disease. Prof Shwapnil said it is the third most common cancer in Bangladesh after lung and stomach cancers.

When asked what tips he had on how people could avoid liver cancer, Prof Shwapnil stressed the importance of vaccination against hepatitis B and dietary control to prevent NASH, which is the primary cause of liver cancer in Bangladesh.


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