Researchers from the cancer center at Johns Hopkins have developed a test that can identify cancer before symptoms appear. Scientists have discovered that dying tumor cells release small DNA fragments in the blood that can be tested, reports “Orthodox”.
A blood test gives you the opportunity to confirm the presence of breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer or ovarian cancer. The uniqueness of this test is that it can distinguish DNA of tumors and other changes in DNA that usually are accepted biomarkers of cancer.
In trials the test was able to detect tumor DNA in more than half of the patients, all of whom were diagnosed with cancer the first stage. The test proved more accurate in the later stages of the cancer although oncologists point out that the purpose of the test is to identify cancer at the earliest stage as possible. “The amazing result is that we can identify a large number of patients with changes in blood prior to the onset of symptoms of the disease,” says Dr. Victor Velculescu.
In the study, 58 were studied for genes associated with cancer, by deep DNA sequencing to search for mutations in tumor cells that circulate in the body. Patients with cancer present in the blood DNA of tumor cells that are dying. After analyzing the blood, the scientists were able to identify 50% of patients with colon cancer the first stage and 90% of patients with colon cancer a second, third or fourth stage. The experts also identified 45% of patients with lung cancer first stage, 67% of patients with ovarian cancer the first stage and 67% of patients with breast cancer the first stage. Although the results were promising, the test still needs major improvement, doctors say.