Blood test to detect 50 different types of cancer shows promise – – Our News, Your Views

Blood test to detect 50 different types of cancer shows promise

A blood test that can detect more than 50 different types of cancer has shown promise in a study involving thousands of NHS patients, scientists said, reports RTE.

The Galleri test, currently available in the US, can also indicate where in the body the disease originates with an accuracy of 85%.

In the Sympify study, the test was able to detect signs of cancer in 323 of the 6,238 people who visited their GP in England or Wales with suspected symptoms.

Of those 323 patients, 244 were subsequently diagnosed with cancer, for a positive predictive accuracy of 75%, the researchers said.

Cancer was found in about 2% of patients with negative results.

Overall, the test correctly identified cancer 66% of the time.

The accuracy of the test also depended on the stage of the cancer – ranging from 24% for very early tumors (stage I) to 95% for advanced tumors (stage IV).

Brian Nicholson, associate professor at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, said: “Most patients diagnosed with cancer first see a primary care physician for the investigation of symptoms suggestive of cancer, like weight loss, anaemia, or abdominal pain, which can be complex as there are multiple potential causes,” reports RTE.

“New tools that can both expedite cancer diagnosis and potentially avoid invasive and costly investigations are needed to more accurately triage patients who present with non-specific cancer symptoms,” he added, reports RTE.

Professor Helen McShane, director of the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, said: “We are committed to diagnosing cancers earlier, when they can be cured, and this study is an important step on that journey,” reports RTE.

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