Novel blood test detects eight cancers

Novel blood test detects eight cancers

Novel blood test detects eight cancers

Professor Peter Gibbs from the Walter and Eliza Institute, who has worked on the test, dubbed CancerSEEK, said he thought it would save thousands of lives.

The Johns Hopkins researchers and collaborators found that gains in the detection rate tailed off when they added more genes to their test.

For the blood test approach utilized as a part of the new examination, the scientists joined surveying levels of coursing proteins in the blood and changes in without cell DNA.

In addition, CancerSEEK appeared to be more effective at detecting cancer in later stages rather than earlier stages.

The idea isn't new. "The sensitivity for the stage I cancers in the study was only 40%".

The test, called CancerSEEK, looks for faults in 16 genes and probes the levels of eight proteins usually released by sufferers.

The eight cancers covered by CancerSEEK-ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectal, lung, and breast-together account for an estimated 360,000, or 60% of the cancer deaths in the 2017.

"This field of early detection is critical, and the results are very exciting", Dr Cristian Tomasetti from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told the BBC.

The Johns Hopkins team thinks Cancer-SEEK is ready for testing as a screening tool. It was able to spot cancer cases anywhere from 33% to 98% of the time, depending on the type.

To make things even better, the procedure is cheap enough to be administered during a routine physical, making it potentially accessible to the general population. "That's why it has to be cheap and noninvasive".

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The test is estimated to cost around A$630 (U$500), which is roughly on par what people now pay to be screened.

"If you take the hay in the haystack and go through it one by one, eventually you will find the needle", Papadopoulos said.

However, not everything is ideal.

Laura Polen, of Jericho, says she's alive because a blood test administered during treatment for lymphoma detected pancreatic cancer in its early stage. And the test isn't as good as it could be for the earliest possible stages of cancer, Roschewski noted.

But whether CancerSEEK will improve clinical outcomes, he said, is an empirical question that will be answered by testing the test "in a more real-world setting, where we will be screening healthy individuals". It is welcome news for health professionals and doctors, who have long suggested that early detection is the key when beating cancer. "And that would be a awful thing".

"Scientists have devised a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer". This means people will still have to undergo additional tests. Compared with the cost of treating advanced cancer, could this actually save the healthcare system money?

Still, there are reasons to be optimistic.

"This is the first step", he said about the study. More work is needed but so far, results are truly promising.

Journal Reference: Joshua D. Cohen et al.

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