Blood test offers hope of finding cancers before symptoms develop
Blood test offers hope of finding cancers before symptoms develop
Image The drug is taken in the form of a daily pill
04 June, 2018, 04:44
A blood test could one day save millions by allowing doctors to screen for cancer before patients show symptoms.
Doctors say it opens the possibility of treatment for cancers that are often hard or impossible to cure because they can not be detected early enough, saving more lives, and slashing medical costs.
"This is potentially the holy grail of cancer research, to find cancers that are now hard to cure at an earlier stage when they are easier to cure", said lead study author Dr Eric Klein, from the Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute, in Ohio. The research - presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, in Chicago - found that the procedure was particularly effective for spotting ovarian and pancreatic cancers.
Takabe noted that although the study included more than 1,600 patients, the number of patients with some types of cancers was quite small - for example, only about 10 patients in the study had ovarian cancer - which is another limitation of the study.
The test was used to detect genetic traces of multiple cancers, including pancreatic and ovarian diseases, according to the study.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "Our 100,000 genome project already makes England a world leader in applying the medical technologies of the future".
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The new study analyzed blood samples from 878 people who were recently diagnosed with cancer and 749 people who did not have cancer.
It was 77 per cent accurate in diagnosing lymphoma, 73 per cent accurate for myeloma, and 80 per cent accurate for liver and gallbladder cancers.
"The goal is to develop a blood test, such as this one, that can accurately identify cancers in their earliest stages".
We all have to sit for a blood test once in our lifetime.
"In stage I disease, surgical interventions are most likely to remove all a patient's cancer and result in a cure - this data is no yet available", Abbosh said. As for cancers of the head and neck, or lung cancer, the detection rate was only 56% and 59%. It detected 51 percent of early-stage cancers and 89 percent of late-stage cancers. According to The Telegraph, the UK's National Health Service (NHS) could start using the blood test within the next five years, but some state that figure is overly ambitious.
It is several steps away, and more research is needed, but it could be given to healthy adults of a certain age, such as those over 40, to see if they have early signs of cancer'.
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