Cancer prevention and management technology discovered by Maltese scientists

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

The scientists at the University of Malta’s Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at the Department of Pathology have discovered a new technology for the prevention and management of cancer in humans.

Godfrey Grech led the study along with Shawn Baldacchino, Jeanesse Scerri, Chrisitan Scerri (clinical lead), Ala Petersons, Claudine Grech Spiteri, Maria Pia Grixti, and, Martina Spiteri.

The findings of the group were discussed at Esplora Interactive Science Centre in Kalkara during a dissemination event. An animated video depicting the process was also launched during the event.

The money for the study was provided by FUSION, the fund of the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST). The Research & Innovation Development Trust in collaboration with the Alive foundation also donated €135,000 to the team.

So how does the new technology help?

It helps in classifying the tumours into sub-groups according to their unique qualities. It also helps in doing away with more invasive tests by providing a way to measure cells and cell capsules shed by solid tumour in blood through a liquid biopsy.

“The next hurdle is the transition to the clinic for patient benefit, hence the fruitful collaboration with the industrial partner in this project,” Godfrey Grech was quoted as saying by Times of Malta.

Applied Biotech Ltd CEO, Ms Grech Spiteri, stated that the first oncology product is expected to be launched in September. The company has been playing an important role in engaging young scientists in laboratory methods and also providing ideas of communication with the public.