Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Grail blood test shows promise in early detection of lung cancer

Grail blood test shows promise in early detection of lung cancer

A new blood test shows promise for detecting many types of cancer, even in the early stages of the disease, according to a new study.

"Detecting cancer early, before it has spread is one of the most powerful ways to ensure more people are offered treatments which give them a better chance of beating the disease", said Fiona Osgun of Cancer Research UK, who was not part of the study.

"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. It could one day save millions of lives, if doctors can use it for cancer screening on patients that show no symptoms.

In an early study by a research team that included scientists from Stanford University, Klein's group found the test was most accurate in diagnosing pancreatic, ovarian, liver, and gallbladder cancers - finding the disease in four out of five patients who used it.

The findings were presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. So far, the test has specifically good results in detecting ovarian and pancreatic cancers.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said such advances in medicine could "dramatically transform" the tools doctors use to screen cancer.

The research sampled 1,627 participants, of which 749 were cancer-free and 878 had various types of newly detected, untreated cancer.

Of them, the most sensitive was able to spot cancers 90 percent of the time.

Saudi Arabia says 17 detained in sweeping crackdown
They have landed on a United Nations blacklist over the killing and maiming of children. The rebels have controlled the capital Sanaa since 2014.

Between them, these diseases account for more than half of the cancer patients in the country.

Head and neck cancer as well as lung cancer were detected with the least accuracy, at 56% and 59%, respectively.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, said in a previous CNN report that the analysis involved in these tests is "extraordinarily complex".

It was less able to pick up stomach, uterine and early-stage low-grade prostate cancer.

There is a "huge interest" in developing liquid biopsy for cancer, Takabe told Live Science, because the tests could have the potential to catch cancer very early.

The methods, which look for mutations and genomic changes, were up to 89% effective in detecting late-stage lung cancers.

"While there's still a way to go before cell-free DNA from blood can be used for cancer detection on a broad scale, this research serves as a building block for the development of future tests".

Like this: