A new blood test detects five types of cancer years before traditional diagnostic methods can detect it. A new study reports about this.
A test created by the Chinese-American startup Singlera Genomics found cancer in 91 percent of people who had no symptoms of cancer when taking a blood sample, but then, after 1-4 years, had cancer of the stomach, esophagus, colon, lung or liver.
“Direct focus is on testing high-risk people based on family history, age, or other known risk factors,” said Koon Zhang, co-author of the study, who heads the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California.
Early detection of cancer is crucial because the chance of survival increases significantly when the disease can be treated at an early stage.
However, only a few effective early screening tests are available at this time.
The researchers studied blood samples from more than 600 individuals from the General Health Research Program, which ran in China from 2007-2017 and involved a total of 120,000 people. The monitoring program included regular blood sampling.
The researchers used a new test to examine blood samples taken from 191 patients diagnosed with cancer four years before diagnosis.
In addition, cancer samples were detected independently, with 88 percent accuracy, in a sample of 113 patients who had already been diagnosed with cancer by taking blood.
Work on this technology has been going on for more than ten years and its aim is to detect asymptomatic diseases based on a biological process known as DNA methylation analysis; At this time, DNA markings characteristic of different types of cancer are screened.
The authors say more large-scale and lengthy studies are needed to confirm the potential for early detection of cancer by this new test.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world today, killing an estimated 10 million people a year.
According to the World Health Organization, lung cancer killed 1.76 million people in 2018, colon cancer 862 000, gastric cancer 783 000, liver cancer 782 000 and esophageal cancer 508 000 people.