New blood test offers hope of finding cancers before symptoms develop


"It 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".

Triple-negative breast, lung, oesophagus, head and neck cancers were also picked up with more than 50% accuracy.

"In particular, new techniques for precision early diagnosis would unlock enormous survival gains, as well as dramatic productivity benefits in the practice of medicine".

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said niraparib will be made available to adults with relapsed, high-grade serous epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who have had two or more courses of platinum-based chemotherapy.

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The findings, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, have been hailed by charities as a "very promising" development.

We all have to sit for a blood test once in our lifetime.

Nicholas Turner from London's Institute of Cancer Research said, via The Guardian.

The blood test involved three tests on the participants' blood samples and showed sensitivity in detecting 10 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, ovarian, lung and esophageal cancer, among others.

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It was 77% accurate in diagnosing lymphoma, 73% accurate for myeloma, and 80% accurate for liver and gallbladder cancers.

The research scrutinised the cases of more than 1,600 people, 749 of whom were cancer-free at the time of the study, with no diagnosis, and 878 of whom had been newly diagnosed with a disease. But they did a better job of detecting later-stage cancers, which shed more DNA fragments, than early-stage cancers, the company's ultimate goal.

Ovarian cancer patient Jane Howarth, 54, from Manchester, has been taking niraparib for nine months.

Dr. Klein says the procedure still needs more testing but suggested that this "holy grail" could eventually become a standard screening method for people as they age. However, doctors could only find a disease in a blood test when our body starts showing symptoms. Finally, it will be important to establish how good this test is at identifying patients with the earliest stage of cancer.

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The research has only taken a first step in detecting cancer through blood tests, and it shows promise in the future of cancer screening. A number of different blood tests are also now used to check out things like blood cell count, liver and kidney function, and the presence of substances produced by tumors.