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04 June 2018, 04:43 | Melissa Porter
The test could identify cancers of the ovary with 90 per cent accuracyMICHAELA REHLE REUTERS
"Liquid biopsies" will enable doctors to screen a patient's blood for up to 10 different types of common cancers before they even start to show symptoms by picking up on DNA markers related to the disease, as well as measuring certain proteins commonly elevated when cancer is present, Voice of America reported.
Dr. Klein added, "Most cancers are detected at a late stage, but this "liquid biopsy" gives us the opportunity to find them months or years before someone would develop symptoms and be diagnosed".
"This 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", says Dr. Eric Klein of Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute. Of those tested, 749 were cancer-free, and 878 were newly diagnosed.
In an early study by a research team that included scientists from Stanford University, Klein's group found the test was most accurate in diagnosing pancreatic, ovarian, liver, and gallbladder cancers - finding the disease in four out of five patients who used it.
At the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists in Chicago, experts further discussed the concept and how it could help doctors in the future.
Among four cancer-free people who tested positive, the U.S. authors say two women were diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer just months later.
Triple-negative breast, lung, oesophagus, head and neck cancers were also picked up with more than 50 per cent accuracy.
He said: As the NHS marks its 70th anniversary, we stand on the cusp of a new era of personalised medicine that will dramatically transform care for cancer and for inherited and rare diseases.
The results to be presented at the United States medical conference are for more than 1,400 people, of whom 561 were cancer-free, with no diagnosis, while 845 had been newly diagnosed with the disease.
There is a "huge interest" in developing liquid biopsy for cancer, Takabe told Live Science, because the tests could have the potential to catch cancer very early. Lung cancer was detected in 59% of patients.
The research examined the cases of more than 1600 people. That is when cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.
The test uses whole genome sequencing.
Researchers said their results showed promise in the approach of blood screenings for cancer, but noted further "clinical development" was needed. 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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