Professor Carel le Roux
Head of Pathology at University College Dublin
3rd World Congress on Pathology and Cancer Diagnosis - 2022
Moving cancer diagnosis (accurate, yet detailed and personalized) into the minimally invasive or non-invasive procedural category means getting more out of less. Accordingly, the search is on for more specific tumor markers or cancer indicators and especially those that can be identified from few DNA or cellular fragments floating in a standard blood sample: the so-called "liquid biopsies". While currently there is no single marker or single molecule that can be claimed as a definitive diagnostic marker of a specific cancer type, this frontier is being vigorously explored. One promising example is that of the so-called "ENOX2 proteins". These are novel markers claimed to be cancer type specific (Ecto-Nicotineamide Oxidase type enzymes translated only in embryonic and cancer cells as opposed to ENOX1 which are a similar class but expressed on normal adult cells). The hope is that such markers can be identified on cells or cell fragments contained in "liquid biopsies", making the combination uniquely diagnostic. Future research activities in Pathology (disease associated tissue changes) may not stop at the molecular level but are, indeed, trending towards even smaller structural units such as atoms or even subatomic particles (nanopathology?).