Cancer Detection: New Blood Test, CancerSeek, Can Spot 8 Varieties

Cancer Detection: New Blood Test, CancerSeek, Can Spot 8 Varieties

The blood test is known as CancerSEEK. Will the test pick up small tumors that would never grow large enough to cause problems yet will be treated anyway, at unnecessary cost, risk, and anxiety to the patient?

The investigators feel that a test that will be used routinely for cancer screening must have a cost in line with or less than other now available screening tests for single cancers, such as colonoscopy.

"This is the first step", he said about the study.

"The test "has the potential to be a one-stop, safe screening test for multiple tumour types that should have high community acceptance", Tie was quoted as saying".

How accurate was the test?

Overall, these results appear to be in stark contrast to previously developed blood-based tests for cancer screening.

The test is noninvasive and based on combined analysis of DNA mutations in 16 cancer genes as well as the levels of 10 circulating protein biomarkers. It was able to catch cancer cases anywhere from 33 percent to 98 percent of the time, depending on the type.

Slow iPhone: Apple makes discounted battery replacement available immediately
The company also faces a legal complaint in France, where so-called "planned obsolesce" is against the law. Apple earlier admitted that it was slowing down older iPhone models to compensate for ageing batteries.

"This looks promising but a significant amount of further research is needed before we can even contemplate how this might play out in screening settings", Mangesh Thorat, deputy director of the Barts Clinical Trials Unit at Queen Mary University of London and who was not involved with the study, told AFP. They made a decision to sequence parts of just 16 genes often mutated in different types of cancer.

"If you take the hay in the haystack and go through it one by one, eventually you will find the needle", Papadopoulos said.

"A novelty of our classification method is that it combines the probability of observing various DNA mutations together with the levels of several proteins in order to make the final call", explains study co-author Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D., an associate professor of oncology and biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University.

'While screening tests for some cancers have already been developed, and are associated with earlier diagnosis and better outcomes, for many major tumour types there are no effective screening tests, ' he said. The test was used on 812 healthy controls and produced only seven false-positive results.

"We are dealing with a needle in a haystack", Papadopoulos said. The CancerSEEK test uses a computer algorithm to try to pinpoint the organ, or at least narrow it to a couple of possibilities.

The specialist team of medics hailed the new test as a potential game changer in the way doctors screened for various forms of the killer disease. "This is the Holy Grail - a blood test to diagnose cancer without all the other procedures like scans or colonoscopy".

A multi-analyte blood test, CancerSEEK, can detect eight common cancer types, with high sensitivity and specificity, according to a study published online January 18 in Science. "The earlier that one could detect a patient with a tumor, the more likely that the intervention would succeed because the intervention is surgery", Roschewski said. The success rate was much lower in stage I cancers, though, at 40%. "The proportion of common cancers - breast, lung, colorectal - detected is again not as high as other, rarer cancers". "But we don't want people calling up" and asking for the test now, because it's not available, he said.

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