Blood Test Detects Cancer in People Who Do Not Yet Have Symptoms

A new blood test that can help detect cancer in people who do not have specific symptoms but more indeterminate ones, such as unexplained weight loss or great fatigue, has been developed by scientists in Britain.

If the test is approved, it will allow the earliest detection of certain cases of cancer that have so far been diagnosed with a delay, thus making it easier to treat them before there are tumor metastases, as the test can also show whether the cancer has spread to the body.

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So far there is no clear procedure, through which a man with vague symptoms that could be cancer, to be guided by doctors for further examinations. Often the patient is examined by a pathologist or general practitioner, who, if he can not diagnose some obvious symptoms, sends the patient home with the advice to return, if his symptoms get worse.

The new test uses Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-ΝMR technology, which detects small molecules, metabolites, in the blood. Healthy people have a different “profile” of metabolites than those with local or metastatic cancer.

The researchers, who made the relevant publication in the American medical journal “Clinical Cancer Research”, analyzed blood samples from 300 patients with non-specific but alarming symptoms of cancer and found that the test can correctly “catch” about 95% (19 out of 20) of people with cancers.

At the moment the test cannot distinguish the type of tumors, but by improving it in the future it could also achieve this.

The test also has a 94% accuracy in distinguishing between local or metastatic cancer. It is thus the first blood test that can detect if the cancer has spread, without diagnosing exactly what kind of tumor it is about.

The test will now be tested on a larger number of patients (2,000 to 3,000) within the next two years and will then be applied for approval by the competent BRITISH supervisory-regulatory authorities.

source: Guardian and APE-MPE

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