For Cancer Diagnosis, Precision Medicine Offers Better Alternative to Traditional Methods

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False positive cancer screening tests often lead to unnecessary and invasive biopsies that can emotionally, physically and financially devastate patients. To help move the focus away from such imperfect methods, NuView Life Sciences is developing a new precision medicine technology platform to quickly and accurately identify cancerous cells without the need to perform such intrusive procedures diagnostically.

Paul Crowe, CEO of NuView Life Sciences, discusses the alternatives to traditional cancer diagnostics and the benefits of those alternatives.

It’s time to focus on diagnostic tests that will accurately identify cancerous cells before any invasive procedures or surgeries are performed.

Over the past two years, approximately 180,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and nearly 231,840 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.(1,2) Traditionally, invasive biopsies have been used to identify suspected cancers in most patients, but the rationale for biopsy is often based on flawed screening tests—such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and mammography—that often give false positive results. As the healthcare industry reexamines current diagnostic methods, NuView Life Sciences is working to develop a precision medicine-based diagnostic tool, NV-VPAC1, to accurately identify cancerous cells in patients long before biopsies are considered.

Unfortunately, it’s common for contemporary diagnostic screening tools, such as the PSA test or mammograms, to give false positive results. Almost half of all women who receive annual mammograms will experience a false positive test result,(3) and up to 80% of women who go on to have breast biopsies receive a benign diagnosis.(1,7) Nearly 70% of men who undergo biopsies for prostate cancer after receiving false positive PSA test results are shown to be cancer free.(1)

In both cases, false positive tests can result from other factors unrelated to cancer.(1,5) Many women have false positive mammograms due to their use of certain hormonal medications or the density of their breast tissue.(8) PSA test results can be elevated due to infection, certain drugs, obesity, or as the result of the normal aging process.(9)

Patients who receive false positive results often go on to have invasive tissue biopsies that are notoriously hard to interpret by trained medical professionals, making the entire biopsy process itself one that is prone to inaccurate results.(4) Regardless of the location of the suspected cancer, unwarranted biopsies increase a patient’s risk of infection, bleeding, and changes in appearance or function.(9,10)

Paul Crowe, CEO of NuView, says, “False positive cancer screenings can have devastating effects on patients and their families. They cost our healthcare system billions each year due to unnecessary biopsies and overtreatment. It’s time to focus on diagnostic tests that will accurately identify cancerous cells before any invasive procedures or surgeries are performed.”

Many patients undergo unnecessary treatments that result in severe emotional, physical and financial consequences as a result of false positive screening tests. Many women who receive inaccurate mammogram results experience further negative psychological consequences for as long as three years after initial testing.(5) Women who receive false positive results are also more likely to delay any subsequent mammograms, or even avoid them completely.(6)

To that end, NuView is working to develop its new NV-VPAC1 technology platform, which is able to hone in on VPAC1 receptors that are overexpressed on the surface of many types of cancerous cells. This new precision medicine-based diagnostic test is expected to offer accurate results that ensure a correct diagnosis without any need for invasive biopsies or other tests, especially for at-risk patients who have already had an elevated PSA test result or abnormal mammogram.

In the future, it may also be possible to use NuView’s NV-VPAC1 technology to accurately screen for prostate cancer after a positive PSA test result. The company is working towards using NV-VPAC1 as a screening tool for identifying cancerous cells. This will provide a more accurate, less expensive screening method for millions of men annually.

Crowe said, “A false positive screening result can have profoundly negative consequences for patients. If we can prevent a patient from undergoing invasive procedures that often result in pain and increased anxiety, then we’ve done our job well. We want to ensure that patients are able to receive accurate results in which they can be confident.”

About NuView Life Sciences:

Founded in 2005, NuView Life Sciences is a biotechnology company located in Park City, Utah, working to improve the way cancer is diagnosed and treated in our modern healthcare system. NuView is focused on creating precision cancer diagnostics and therapeutics to improve patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs through the development and clinical application of its exclusive peptide analog technology, NV-VPAC1.

Led by a team of industry experts with decades of combined experience in healthcare and medical imaging technologies, NuView is poised to change how we look for and respond to cancer. To learn more about NuView Life Sciences, please visit

1.    Experts reverse themselves on prostate cancer screenings. CNN.
2.    Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, 2015 – 2016. American Cancer Society.
3.    Limitations of Mammograms. American Cancer Society.
4.    Better Sent it to Epstein. Hopkins Medical News.
5.    False Positives, False Negatives in Breast Cancer. Yahoo News. positives-false-negatives-breast-cancer-130000359.html
6.    Impact of a False positive Screening Mammogram on Subsequent Screening Behavior and Stage at Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
7.    NV-VPAC1 Pet Imaging Agent. NuView Life Sciences.
8.    Accuracy of Mammograms. Susan G. Komen.
9.    PSA test: Risks. Mayo Clinic.
10.    Breast biopsy: Risks. Mayo Clinic.

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Karla Jo Helms
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