Monday, 18 June, 2018

‘Holy Grail’ Blood Test May Detect Cancer Before Tumors Form

Niraparib Image The drug is taken in the form of a daily pill
Marlene Weaver | 04 June, 2018, 04:43

Doctors could soon be able to detect 10 different types of cancer using a simple blood test.

"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".

Professor Nicholas Turner, from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, described the findings as "really exciting".

Initial evidence from an ongoing study suggests a "liquid biopsy" may help spot the first signs of the disease, which is the third most common cancer in the UK.

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 authors, led by Cleveland Clinic in OH, will present their findings at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, and hope the test could be available within five to 10 years for healthy people who are cancer-free. While it detected ovarian cancer with 90 percent success rate, for example, only 10 instances of this type of cancer were detected throughout the testing period.

Of those, 749 were cancer-free at the time, with no diagnosis, and 878 had been newly diagnosed with pancreatic, ovarian, liver and gallbladder cancers, and the test was correct in at least four out of five patients.

Tough day for stars at Roland Garros in Paris
"I didn't feel the pressure, because I know that every match is tough at this tournament, so I don't expect anything", she said. The result, it's going to come if I play well. "Maybe doing that was really important to today be No. 1", she said.

It works by picking up fragments of DNA released into the blood by fast-growing cancer cells, the Daily Mail reports.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said such advances in medicine could "dramatically transform" care.

The results to be presented at the USA medical conference are for more than 1,400 people, of whom 561 were cancer-free, with no diagnosis, while 845 had been newly diagnosed with the disease.

Tests for lymphoma and myeloma were slightly less accurate, with 77 and 73 percent detection rates, respectively.

Between them, these diseases account for more than half of the cancer patients in the country. It detected head and neck cancer in 56% of patients, lung cancer in 59% of patients, and bowel cancer in 2 out of 3 patients.

The researchers stress further clinical development is needed. "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 non-invasive DNA blood test isn't yet ready to use in practice, but the test would enable cancers to be detected in the early stages, before symptoms begin, when treatment is more likely to succeed.

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