Cancer Early Detection

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

Researchers say blood test can detect cancer up to four years before symptoms appear.

A blood test can pick up cancers up to four years before symptoms appear, researchers say, in the latest study to raise hopes of early detection. A team led by researchers in China say the non-invasive blood test – called PanSeer – detects cancer in 95% of individuals who have no symptoms but later receive a diagnosis.

“We demonstrated that five types of cancer can be detected through a DNA methylation-based blood test up to four years before conventional diagnosis,” the team wrote in the journal Nature Communications.

They said the test was unlikely to be predicting cancer but rather picking up on cancerous growths that had not yet caused symptoms or been spotted by other methods. Such tests, known as liquid biopsies, have become the focus of much research as they offer a non-invasive way to screen patients..

The new study is not the first to report positive results for a blood test for early detection of cancer. However, the team said the research was exciting because it showed cancers could be detected before patients showed any indication of symptoms - something few studies have shown before.

Original article: Guardian