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Researched: New blood test recognizes recurrent cancer much earlier


Experts are developing cancer-detecting blood tests
Cancer is a dangerous disease that threatens the lives of many people worldwide. Researchers have now developed a novel method for early detection of recurrent cancer. With the new blood test, the cancer can be detected a year earlier than was previously possible with normal scans.

In their investigation, the scientists at the UCL Cancer Institute found that a novel blood test enables early detection of recurrent cancer. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Nature".

New test detects cancer long before CT scans
A British research team has been able to more effectively test human blood for signs of cancer. The cancer was recognized in a state in which it affects only a small cluster of cells. At this point, it cannot be recognized by X-ray or computer tomography (CT), the experts say.

Earlier detection of cancer leads to improved healing
The new finding should enable doctors in the future to detect tumors earlier and thus improve the chances that those affected can be cured of cancer. The research project was aimed at lung cancer, but the processes examined are so fundamental that they could affect all types of cancer, the authors suspect. Lung cancer kills more people every year than any other type of tumor. The study tracked how cancer develops and how it spreads through the body.

Experts analyzed defective DNA from cancer tumor
For the current investigation, samples were taken from a lung tumor during an operation. The scientists then analyzed the defective DNA of the tumor to create a genetic fingerprint of the cancer. Blood tests were then performed every three months after the operation, in which the experts looked for the first signs of recurrent cancer.

Blood test detects tumors with a volume of 0.3 cubic millimeters
With this new method, cancer was detected a year earlier than is currently possible with other tests, the researchers say. The test of blood samples detects tumors with a volume of only 0.3 cubic millimeters. We can identify cancer in patients, even if they actually show no clinical signs of the disease, explains the author Dr. Christopher Abbosh of the UCL Cancer Institute. This way the cancer can be better monitored. In addition, it becomes clear how well applied therapies work, add the expert.

Blood test enables more effective treatment of lung cancer relapses
The results found offer new hope for the treatment of lung cancer relapse after surgery. Theoretically, it should be easier to treat cancer more effectively, since recurrent cancer can be detected while it is tiny, the scientists explain. So far, it was only possible to diagnose the cancer after it has grown more and becomes visible again in normal examinations.

Blood test allows treatment while there are still few cancer cells in the body
The study authors hope that the early treatment of the disease, at a time when there are very few cancer cells in the body, can increase the chances of a successful cure for the patient. (as)

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