The ONCOblot test is an innovative blood test which was first made available in January 2013. It measures a protein called ENOX2, which exists only on the surface of malignant cancer cells. This marker serves as a reliable detector of early cancer cells, as well as recurrent cancers. Studies have shown that it detects cancerous tumors as small as 1.2 mm in diameter. For reference, mammograms cannot detect tumors smaller than 7 mm in diameter.
The test detects the following cancers: bladder, breast, cervical, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, gastric, hepatocellular (liver), kidney, leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, mesothelioma, multiple myeloma, non-small cell lung, ovarian, pancreatic, papillary, prostate, sarcoma, small cell lung, squamous cell, thyroid, follicular, uterine, and testicular germ cell.
Dr. Stegall draws this advanced lab in his office, and results take about one month to come back. The test has several key uses, including:
- testing for recurrent cancer
- testing for familial (inherited) cancer
- follow-up to other abnormal tests (mammogram, PET scan, etc.)
- after completion of cancer treatment
ONCOblot testing is specific to each type of cancer, so it can distinguish one type of cancer from another. Testing thus far has shown it to be 96% accurate in identifying the primary cancer of origin. Please note that it does not show metastatic cancer locations, since a breast tumor which has metastasized to the lungs is still of breast cancer origin. In addition, ENOX2 levels in circulation are not necessarily proportional to tumor burden.
Dr. Stegall can draw this test in his office, and prefers to use this test approximately 1 month after completion of treatment. This gives the ENOX2 time to be cleared from the body. Results take approximately three weeks to come back.
Note: ONCOblot testing is in the process of FDA approval. However, it has met FDA requirements for a Laboratory Developed Test (LDT), and has been certified by the CLIA and CAP.