A simple blood test can with an accuracy of 99% to identify more than 50 different types of cancer, often before the onset of symptoms, writes the BBC.
The study, which has studied the blood of more than 6 thousand people, was conducted by a group of American and British scholars and sponsored by startup from Silicon valley.
Scientists hope that such analyses will help to identify tumors at an early stage and successfully treat them.
The study was conducted by a group of American scientists from the Institute of Oncology of Dana-Farber and Harvard medical school in collaboration with the British Institute of Francis Crick and University College London. His findings are published in the academic journal Annals of Oncology Oxford University press.
Although more than 99% of tests that revealed the cancer was confirmed, scientists want to ensure that their method misses the cancer and not give false hope. This will require further study.
In addition, the results of clinical tests showed that the blood test better identifies the progression of cancer than the beginning of the development of the disease.
How does it work?
The analysis searches for signs of chemical changes that come from tumors in the blood, in the genetic code — DNA.
The study included tests for 50 different types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, ovarian and lung.
In 96% of cases the test accurately determined the type of cancer.
What do the experts say?
The study pays for the Grail, a startup from Silicon valley investors which Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
“It seems that this blood has all the properties required for wide use as an analysis on different types of cancer,” says Professor Joff Oxnard, one of the leaders of the study.
“Everyone is asking when this test is ready. Based on successful clinical trials on thousands of patients, this test has already started for limited use in clinical trials”.
However, to talk about the wide application of this analysis will only be possible after you have received the results of such clinical trials.
“Although this analysis is in its early stages of development, the first results are encouraging,” said David Crosby, responsible for research in the field of early detection of cancer, the British charity Cancer Research UK.
“The detection of cancer in its earliest stages when it is less aggressive and treatable, has a huge potential to save lives, but to realize this potential urgently needed technological innovation.”