New blood test can detect more than 20 types of cancer in one go | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 18, 2024

Innovations in the world of medicine have allowed doctors to test for a variety of cancers, but screening for multiple types of cancers at the same time, and with a single test, has been a pipe dream. That is, until now.

In a recent breakthrough study, scientists have developed a new type of blood test that can detect more than 20 types of cancer and even trace them back to their source. 

The novel technology centers on the detection of methyl groups, which are small units of chemicals that can attach themselves to DNA and influence which genes are switched on or off. When these patterns of on-and-off genes expression differ from the norm, they can be indicative of cancer. 

In the study, the researchers applied the sequencing technology that scans for these irregularities to almost 3,600 blood samples, drawn from both healthy subjects and patients suffering from more than 20 types of cancer – including breast, gall bladder, lung, pancreatic, and leukemia. It indicated the presence of the cancers with 99.4 percent accuracy. What’s more, the test was able to correctly identify the organ or tissue where the tumor originated.

The findings pave the way for new technologies that could enable doctors to detect cancer at earlier stages and essentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people annually.

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