Blood tests for cancer are “very exciting”
Scientists have taken a step toward one of the biggest medical goals – a common cancer test.
A team at Johns Hopkins university tested a method to detect eight common diseases.
Their vision is an annual test aimed at finding cancer early and saving lives. British experts said it was “very exciting”.
The tumor releases tiny traces of mutated DNA and protein in the blood.
An “exciting” blood test a year ago.
Ovarian cancer was detected early.
Blood tests for prostate cancer “help target treatment”
1,005 patients with ovaries, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon, lung cancer or breast cancer have not yet spread to other tissues.
Overall, the tests found 70 percent of cancers.
Dr Christian tomasetti, of Johns Hopkins university school of medicine, told the BBC: “this early discovery is very important and the results are very exciting.
“I think it has a huge impact on cancer mortality.”
The earlier cancer is discovered, the more likely it is to be treated.
Five of the eight cancers examined were not screened for early detection.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are so small that if detected too late, four out of five patients die from the diagnosis.
When the tumor is still surgically removed, Dr. Tomasetti said, it will be “a difference between day and night.”
Cancer tests are now being carried out on people who have not been diagnosed with cancer.
This will be a real test of its usefulness.
The hope is that it will complement other screening tools, such as mammograms and colonoscopy, for colorectal cancer.
Dr Tomasetti told the BBC: “we envisage using a blood test once a year.”
Cancer seeking tests reported in the journal science are novel because it looks for mutations in DNA and proteins.
Scientific photo gallery of copyright of breast cancer cell images.
The image title
Breast cancer can be detected by new tests.
Increasing the number of mutations and proteins analyzed will enable it to test for a wider range of cancers.
“This is a huge potential,” Dr Gert Attard, director of the centre for evolutionary and cancer research at the London cancer institute and consultant in medical oncology at the royal marsden NHS trust, told the BBC.
“I’m excited. This is the holy grail – blood tests diagnose cancer without all other procedures, such as scans or colonoscopy.
‘we are very close to screening for cancer with blood tests because’ we have the technology, ‘he said.
In some cases, treatment may be worse than a cancer that is not immediately life-threatening.
Detection of prostate cancer in men may have increased slowly, rather than being treated.
“When we find cancer in different ways, we don’t think everyone needs treatment,” Dr. Atad said.
Cancer costs less than $500 per patient, roughly the same as colonoscopy.