Currently, only one in two cancer patients can hope to be diagnosed with their disease before that it does not reach stage 3 or 4. But American researchers believe that a blood test capable of detecting around 20 cancers early could be developed by 2028.
Over 99% of cancer cases correctly identified
At the congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology currently being held in Barcelona (Spain), researchers from Harvard School of Medicine (United States) announced that they had developed a blood test that looks for associated genetic changes. to tumor development.
In the first tests on 3,600 blood samples (one third of which were taken from cancer patients), “99.4% of cases identified as cancer were correctly identified, which means that only 0.6% of cases were false diagnoses from healthy patients, ”said lead author Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard.
“Our work has shown that methylation-based tests outperform traditional DNA sequencing methods to detect several forms of cancer in blood samples,” he added.
The sensitivity of the blood test varies, of course, depending on how advanced the cancer is. During testing, the sensitivity for stage 1 cancer was 32%, stage 2 76%, stage 3 85% and stage 4 93%. “Early detection, however modest, of common cancers could result in many patients who could benefit from more effective treatment more quickly.”