New blood test detects 8 kinds of cancer

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"This is a first step, but it's an important one".

Associate Professor Tie said the blood test had the potential to be a one-stop screening for multiple tumours.

How accurate was the test?

Rather, the tests offer doctors clues as to what's going on inside your body.

The CancerSEEK test measures circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) from 16 genes and eight protein biomarkers, then uses machine-based learning to analyse the data.

The test works by combining tests that look for16 genes and 10 proteins linked to cancer. "I would bet you, dollars to donuts, that those seven are not without cancer", said Dr. Mark Roschewski, a lymphoma researcher at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research who was not involved in the study. And it is exciting because it confirms the usefulness of simultaneously looking for a combination of different molecules - such as DNA, RNA, proteins or metabolites - that are complementary and increase the likelihood of detecting cancer.

The Lustgarten Foundation says another round of clinical trials will be conducted before it goes to the FDA for approval.

Researchers at John Hopkins University in Maryland tested it on 1,005 patients with cancers of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectum, lung or breast.

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CancerSEEK, which is the culmination of 30 years of research, uses two signs to determine whether a person might have cancer.

The researchers have already launched their next study to see if the test can detect cancer in people who don't have any symptoms yet.

"It's also a test you would do in young people if they had a strong family history, or any other risk factor for cancer", Professor Gibbs told the ABC.

As study co-author Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D. - co-director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics at Johns Hopkins - notes, "Very high specificity was essential because false-positive results can subject patients to unnecessary invasive follow-up tests and procedures to confirm the presence of cancer". The Johns Hopkins group and others have shown that so-called liquid biopsies of blood-borne tumor DNA can reveal, for example, whether a patient's cancer should respond to a specific drug.

For those who test positive twice, the next step will be imaging to find the tumor. So patients in a real-life screening likely would have less advanced disease and might be more hard to test.

On average it was able to successfully identify cancer 70% of the time, with these results varying based on the strain of the disease. Five of these now have no viable screening method.

"This is just a case-control contemplate, and consequently needs facilitate assessment in extensive partners more illustrative of (the) overall public", said Thorat, who was not associated with the investigation. And it was better at detecting stage 2 or 3 cancers, versus stage 1, the investigators found.