Tamil Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology
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Tamil Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology
Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 25-36 (November 2016)
Prognostic and diagnostic methods of various cancers with a special focus
on the biomarker based early cancer screening

Tamil Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 25-36, November 2016

Sadhasivam Subramaniam, Sivasubramanian Savitha



An uncontrolled proliferation of body cells and subsequent spreading into the surrounding tissues is termed as
cancer. In normal metabolism, when cells undergo aging or damage they will be repaired and regenerated via
orderly cascades and  new cells are formed followed by the eradication of the dead cells. Whereas in cancer
development, it ignores the normal cell signaling and leads to abnormal cell proliferation which becomes invasive.
The as-produced extra cell mass is termed as either benign or malignant tumor. Clinically, there are more than 50
different cancers that are named based on the place of origin. The progression of cancer from the particular part
to other body parts` can be described as metastasis. General diagnostic tools for screening of cancer include:
positron emission tomography, mammography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With
the modern techniques, cancers are usually not detected until the tumor has grown fairly large and it is already
too late for curing. Nevertheless, these techniques are not valid for the analyses of serum tumor markers like
carcinoembryonic antigen, cancer antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) and prostate specific antigen. In US alone, about
1,658,370 new cancer cases were reported in 2015, with 589,430 deaths. Hence the current focus of the
research is to develop rapid, simple and low-cost detection methods for sensitive and specific detection of early-
stage cancer. The development of early screening techniques would expect to reduce the premature deaths from
~ 3 -35% with an overall decrease in therapy cost. This review is briefly focused on the prominent cancers in men
and women with the routine and next generation screening methods to provide an insight regarding the pros and
cons of the treatment modalities.