A new blood test can identify markers for 16 gene mutations and eight proteins in blood, and it can detect over 70 types of cancer. This includes breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, esophageal, and liver cancers. It’s also effective in detecting cancer in five cancer types that have no routine screening tests.
It’s important to know that early detection is critical to preventing or curing cancer. A tumor must be at least one centimeter in diameter and weigh at least one gram (three hundredths of an ounce) to be detected by this test. This allows doctors to detect the disease in an early stage, when a patient’s cancer is small. Mammograms and MRIs can also detect a tumor of this size, but the new test allows doctors to detect it at a much earlier stage.
While this test is not perfect, its high sensitivity and specificity can be very beneficial. It can detect cancer at its earliest stages, which is ideal as it can guide treatment plans. However, the test can also produce false positive results, which is a big concern because small tumours don’t release DNA into the bloodstream as much as larger tumours do.
The cancer screening test developed by Grail stemmed from a study that looked at blood samples of 10 women who had abnormal prenatal screening tests and subsequently developed various types of malignancies. Using these samples, the researchers reexamined the DNA sequencing data from the women’s prenatal tests. They discovered that the abnormalities that were present in the women’s blood were not consistent with those found in the fetal tissues. This led the researchers to hypothesize that tumors shed their DNA into the blood.
CancerSEEK blood test detects tiny amounts of DNA and proteins in cancer cells. The test can detect eight types of cancer in a single sample, and can help identify the location of the cancer. It’s a type of liquid biopsy and is much less invasive than a standard biopsy, which requires a needle to be inserted into a solid tumour. Another advantage of CancerSEEK is that the test can be performed without knowing the patient has a cancer. Early detection is the best way to increase a person’s chances of survival.
CancerSEEK has already been used by over 1,000 people with early stages of cancer. It was able to identify over 70 percent of them. The sensitivity of the test ranged from 33 percent for breast cancer to 98 percent for ovarian cancer, and from 69 percent to 98 percent for five cancers that are not routinely screened. The study, which was sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Cancer Institute, was carried out in collaboration between Australian and US scientists.
Because tumors produce specific cancer markers, they can be detected in the blood, urine, stool, or tissue samples. These tests can also identify the presence of pre-cancerous conditions. However, cancer markers can’t be used as a stand-alone diagnosis and are used in conjunction with other tests to make a definitive diagnosis.