New technologies that enable doctors to detect important biomarkers in the first phase promise to change the face of cancer treatment and blood testing is an area where some exciting progress is being made. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who have published a study describing a new type of blood test that can detect more than 20 types of cancer, and even give them their own Can also search back to the source. Blood tests reveal more than 20 types of cancer.
There are many cancer detection blood tests in development around the world, designed to detect a variety of biomarkers as early indicators of the disease. Some search for elevated levels of protein, some for damaged DNA in white blood cells and some for irregular platelet RNA profiles, with varying degrees of success.
The new test was developed by scientists at the private company Grail Inc. and examined by scientists at Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Technology centres for the detection of methyl groups, which are small units of chemicals that can attach themselves to DNA and affect which genes are switched on or off.
When these patterns of on-and-off gene expression differ from the norm, they can be signs of cancer, as we have demonstrated through previous studies on cancer detection blood tests. The newly published study, however, provides some particularly impressive and comprehensive results.
Researchers applied sequencing technology that scans approximately 3,600 blood samples for these irregularities, drawn from healthy subjects and patients suffering from more than 20 types of cancer. This indicated the presence of cancer with 99.4 per cent accuracy, meaning that only 0.6 per cent of healthy subjects had an incorrect diagnosis.
But the test has the potential to go beyond that. According to the investigators, the technology was able to reveal cancers with high mortality rates with 76 per cent accuracy, and among them, stage one cancers with 32 per cent accuracy, stage two cancers with 76 per cent accuracy and stages with 85 per cent accuracy. Three cancers detected.
Stage four cancers were detected with 93 per cent accuracy, while 89 per cent of the time, the test was able to correctly identify the organ or tissue where cancer originated. The types of cancer were able to detect breast, gall bladder, head, neck, lymphoid, lung, pancreatic and leukaemia.
“Our previous work indicated that methylation-based discovers traditional DNA-sequencing approaches to detect multiple forms of cancer in blood samples,” says Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, Dana-Farber, lead author of the study. “New study results suggest that such assays are a possible way of screening people for cancer.”
The team presented its results at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress over the weekend.
Blood tests reveal more than 20 types of cancer.