New blood test can reveal almost all types of cancer
Friday, 17 August 2018
Danish researchers have developed one blood test to reveal a variety of different cancers.
The methodology researchers at the University of Copenhagen have now developed are described in the journal Nature Communications. One single blood test should reveal almost all forms of cancer at an early stage.
“Only there are three cancer cells in a test, so can we actually find them,” says Professor Ali Salanti at the University of Copenhagen to DR.dk.
The Danish university calls the study that led to the finding for “sensational”.
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Protein binds to 95 percent of all cancer cells
The researchers will have found a protein in malaria parasites, which researchers have previously seen to bind to nearly 95 percent of all cancer cells, and with this protein they should be able to capture the cancer cells in the blood.
“We have already identified a number of different types of cancer that there are cancer cells in the blood,” Salanti writes in a press release.
To DR.dk, he states that the method has been tried on patients in England who have had cancer in an early stage.
“And in fact, no one fell through: We found the cancer cells in the blood of all patients, and we did not find anything at a control group,” says Salanti.
Can be used in treatment
Researchers hope that the method can also be used to test treatment methods, by removing cancer cells, culturing them in the laboratory, and seeing how the cancer cells of the patient respond to different treatments.
Now researchers want to test if the sample works with those who have not yet received any cancer diagnosis.
“Our future scenario is to be able to use it for example to screen risk groups on an annual basis. But first, we will test the method for even more patients and earlier in their cancer course, “says Salanti to DR.dk.