New blood diopsy test could herald new age in cancer treatment

New blood diopsy test could herald new age in cancer treatment

New blood diopsy test could herald new age in cancer treatment

A blood test that can detect 10 types of cancer potentially years before someone becomes ill has been described as the "holy grail" of cancer research.

'Most cancers are detected at a late stage, but this "liquid biopsy" gives us the opportunity to find them months or years before someone would develop symptoms and be diagnosed'.

"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 Dr. Eric Klein, lead author of the research from Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute.

In a race for detecting, treating or curing cancer, researchers keep on discovering new ways to fight the disease that kills many people around the globe.

The findings will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago this weekend. The tests found the cancers in four out of five patients who took it. For example, although the test was able to detect ovarian cancer with 90% accuracy, only ten ovarian cancers in total were detected, The Guardian reports.

He said: ‘As the NHS marks its 70th anniversary, we stand on the cusp of a new era of personalised medicine that will dramatically transform care for cancer and for inherited and rare diseases.

Klein's research team collected 1,627 blood draws from 878 patients with untreated, newly diagnosed cancer and 749 healthy controls.

The blood test involved three tests on the participants' blood samples and showed sensitivity in detecting 10 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, ovarian, lung and esophageal cancer, among others.

Fiona Osgun, from Cancer Research UK, added: "The idea that we could one day offer people a blood test that could find cancer earlier is certainly exciting". Lung cancer and cancers of the head and neck trailed behind, with 59 and 56 percent detection rates.

Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who led the study, called the findings "promising early results", but said the tests need to be validated in a larger group of people. "And, in this case applied to a high risk group to show how effective it would be in detecting cancer at its earliest stage".

The cancer sites that were examined in the study did not include brain, but the study does suggest that scientific progress has been made across many different types of cancers and there is the potential to include this test as part of a routine medical screening.

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