New blood test detects 8 kinds of cancer

A Cheap and Easy Blood Test Could Catch Cancer Early

A new blood test can detect cancerous tumors, and their location, before symptoms emerge, researchers say.

The study was led by a team of United States researchers from Johns Hopkins University and involved 400 patients from Melbourne's Footscray Hospital.

A blood test that screens for eight common cancers could change the way doctors screen for the disease, researchers have said. The problem is, symptoms are often subtle or absent, and can usually be accounted for by a number of other conditions.

Some of the blood tests now used to diagnose cancer include complete blood count, blood protein testing, tumor marker tests, and circulating tumor cell tests. But that leaves 30% of cancers still undetected.

The idea isn't new.

But in principle, CancerSEEK offers a way to simultaneously screen for multiple early stage tumors.

Except for identifying blood malignancies, nonetheless, those tests "by and large can't completely tell whether you have tumor or some different noncancerous condition", as indicated by Mayo Clinic's site. Peter Gibbs, from Australia's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, were part of the US -led research team that developed the tests for cancers affecting the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, bowel, lung and breast, the facility said in a statement.

CancerSEEK is now being trialled in people who have not been diagnosed with cancer.

The scientists from John Hopkins University said their vision is a test created to catch cancer early and save lives.

The Johns Hopkins team thinks Cancer-SEEK is ready for testing as a screening tool.

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All in all, the team managed to identify cancer up to 98 percent of the time and had only a 1 percent false positive rate. It requires only a blood sample and may prove low-cost enough for doctors to give during a routine physical.

This morning, it was announced that scientists have taken a major step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine - a universal blood test for cancer. "That's why it has to be cheap and noninvasive".

Australian scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Associate Professor Jeanne Tie and Professor Peter Gibbs joined the research and they believe the test could not only be vital for middle-aged patients but for the young generation as well.

However, not everything is ideal.

However, CancerSEEK's ability to detect advanced cancer does not mean it can also detect early stage cancer, much less pre-symptomatic cancer, said Paul Pharoah, a professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. And the team members noted in their paper that because they included at least 50 of each tumor type they looked at, rare cancers, where the test performed better than average, were overrepresented.

"Even though I have this weird stomach pain that won't go away, I know it's not cancer". "And that would be a bad thing". The laboratory was not involved in tests for a new eight-cancer liquid biopsy detection test called CancerSEEK.

Still, there are reasons to be optimistic. "This is a first step, but it's an important one". More work is needed but so far, results are truly promising.

Abstract of the study explains how CancerSEEK operates.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, was encouraged that the test did well on cancers that lack screening tests now.

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