3D tracking of cancers is paving the way for treatments

A single blood test detects cancers with up to 98 per cent accuracy in patients without any symptoms, research suggested in January 2018.

The assessment, known as CancerSEEK, picks up on DNA shed by mutating cells into the blood.

The test can diagnose at least eight different types of cancer from ovarian to breast.

Although the test’s accuracy varies according to the type of cancer, it averages at around 70 per cent, which is better than any available early-diagnosis method, according to researchers from John Hopkins University.

It is also able to detect the cancers’ origins in around 80 per cent of cases, the study found.

If given as part of a routine-screening programme, the researchers believe the test could catch tumors early, maximizing patients’ survival chances.

Study author Professor Bert Vogelstein said: ‘This test represents the next step in changing the focus of cancer research from late-stage disease to early disease, which I believe will be critical to reducing cancer deaths in the long term.

The researchers analysed blood samples from 1,005 cancer patients suffering from early-stage ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectum, lung or breast forms of the disease. 

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