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rapid breath test for biomarkers of breast cancer

Posted by lbleyen on 06 Mar 2014 at 20:33 GMT

Dear sir, madam,

First of all I would say that the group of abnormal mammograms (37) does not corresponds with a normal situation. I would expect maximum 3 positive tests in a group of 100 women.
Secondly, out of the 114 referred women for biopsy only 35 were positive, which is low, and if we look at the characteristics of the outcome, 23% were DCIS, which is again unacceptable (overdiagnosis).
When extrapolating the sensitivity and the specificity to a population of 1 million women, with an expected detection rate of 3,95 cancers per 1000 women screened, the number of false-positives nearly reaches 300,000 women. All these women need further follow-up, meaning also stress and a high psychological burden. In a good program, I would also expect a PPV of at least 30%, and not 0.395% as in this study.
To end, even if the results would be better, women still need a mammogram, simply because the test does not predict where the lesion is located. So, where is the gain?

Yours sincerely,
Dr. L. Bleyen
Medical coördinator
Centre for Cancer Detection, Flanders, Belgium

No competing interests declared.