Scientists Develop Single Blood Test to Screen Eight Types of Cancer

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types along with detecting the location of the cancer.

CancerSEEK is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The findings of the study were published online by Science on January 18, 2018. Common cancer types account for more than 60 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. Five of the cancers covered by the test currently have no screening test.

“The use of a combination of selected biomarkers for early detection has the potential to change the way we screen for cancer, and it is based on the same rationale for using combinations of drugs to treat cancers,” says Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., senior author and professor of oncology and pathology. This molecular test is focused on cancer screening and it is different from other molecular tests, which rely on analyzing large numbers of cancer-driving genes to identify therapeutically actionable targets. In this study, the test had greater than 99 percent specificity for cancer. The test predict to cost less than US$ 500.

The test was evaluated on 1,005 patients with nonmetastatic, stages I to III cancers of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectum, lung or breast. The test efficiently diagnosed cancer with 70 percent and ranged from a high of 98 percent for ovarian cancer to a low of 33 percent for breast cancer. For the five cancers that have no screening tests, which include ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers sensitivity ranged from 69 percent to 98 percent.

According to Cancer/Tumor Profiling Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, Cancer profiling technique can classify tumors more accurately, which helps in predicting the patient’s clinical outcome. CancerSEEK can be administered by primary care providers at the time of other routine blood work. Researchers believe that this test can be routinely used for cancer screening more efficiently than conventional screening tests for single type of cancer.

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