Simple blood test could detect cancers
foxnews | 2014-04-08 16:02

A new, highly sensitive blood test may help detect cancer tumors, Medical News Today reported.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine attempted a new approach to detecting cancer tumors— a blood test that uses tumor DNA as a biomarker.

In a new study published in Nature Medicine, the test correctly identified around half of patients with stage 1 lung cancer and all patients with stage 2 or higher.

These findings show promise for the use of blood tests to monitor tumors for a diverse range of cancers— at a fraction of the cost of current detection methods using imaging studies, such as CT scans.

"Blood cancers like leukemias can be easier to monitor than solid tumors through ease of access to the blood. By developing a general method for monitoring circulating tumor DNA, we're in effect trying to transform solid tumors into liquid tumors that can be detected and tracked more easily,” study author Ash Alizadeh, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford, said.

Researchers say the method has potential as a cancer screening tool for both healthy and at-risk populations.

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