Cancer blood test edging closer

3 November 2014

A potential blood test to detect cancer has moved one step closer to reality thanks to the identification of 800 markers.

The research, which was presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference, could significantly help the development of a single blood test for many forms of the disease in the very early stages.

The study represents the first time that cancer-specific blood markers have been identified and analysed for clinical development, with some 19,000 scientific papers reviewed. As all cancers produce biomarkers in the blood, it could be feasible to develop a quick and noninvasive general screening test.

For UK patients, survival rates for cancer are lower than in other western countries, partly due to late diagnosis of the disease. New methods for rapid diagnosis could change this, as the disease is often only discovered once the patient has presented symptoms, which can often be at a latter stage.

Study author Professor Ian Cree, a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist at the University of Warwick and University Hospital in Coventry, said: "We believe that we've identified all the relevant biomarkers; the next step is working out which ones work the best for spotting cancers."

Posted by Phillip Briggs 

 

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