A Blood Test For Common Cancers Could Be In The Works

22 January, 2018, 02:30 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • A Cheap and Easy Blood Test Could Catch Cancer Early

The test is now called CancerSEEK and would try to hunt for lung, breast, colon, pancreas, liver, stomach, ovary and esophagus cancers in a person who shows no signs of any of these cancers.

The test was able to detect disease in about 70% of more than 1,000 people who had already been diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers have developed a single blood test that screens for eight common types of cancer - and helps to identify its location. And it is exciting because it confirms the usefulness of simultaneously looking for a combination of different molecules - such as DNA, RNA, proteins or metabolites - that are complementary and increase the likelihood of detecting cancer. Five of these now have no viable screening method.

The test could become available to patients in the next few years.

Known as a liquid biopsy, the test is distinctly different to a standard biopsy, where a needle is put into a solid tumour to confirm a cancer diagnosis. The CancerSEEK test uses a computer algorithm to try to pinpoint the organ, or at least narrow it to a couple of possibilities. "The results are good enough to warrant the next step, which is to test this in a screening setting, meaning in thousands of individuals that actually do not have cancer and see really how well our test works".

COI: Nickolas Papadopoulos, Shibin Zhou, Kenneth Kinzler, Luis Diaz and Bert Vogelstein are founders of Personal Genome Diagnostics, Inc. and PapGene, Inc.

Pancreatic cancer is considered one of the deadliest forms of the disease since it's often too late by the time it's detected.

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Currently, no blood-based tests are in common clinical use for earlier detection of those cancers, the researchers noted in their study.

Its genesis is described in a paper published Thursday in the journal Science. For example, a patient testing negative may think: "Even though I have this weird stomach pain that won't go away, I know it's not cancer".

"We desperately need better ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier to give patients the best chance of survival".

The scientists hope it can complement other screening tools such as mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer.

Researchers say the test could cost around $500 based on current materials and methods, but the ultimate goal is to commercialize it, so what a company would charge is unknown.

Nicholas Turner, professor of molecular oncology at The Institute of Cancer Research in London, also told AFP that the one percent false positive rate "could be quite a concern for population screening". The sensitivity for the earliest stage cancers (Stage I) was highest for liver cancer (100%) and lowest for esophageal cancer (20%).

The scientists have pushed ahead with a development, five-year concentrate to additionally assess the blood test, Papadopoulos said in a video chat with correspondents on Friday.

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