Inventions in technologies assist doctors to determine various diseases that may be fatal if advanced. There exist several tests, like imaging, endoscopy, biopsy, etc., for cancer diagnosis. A new discovery has changed the look of a cancer diagnosis. Scientists claim a blood test could detect more than 20 various types of cancer. Scientists from Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have developed a test that seeks for hereditary changes linked with the growth of tumors. Even more, the latest finding can trace cancers back to its origins. It has revealed the ability to screen for screening various types of cancer with higher accuracy.
Researchers from Grail Inc., a private company, have developed the test, and scientists from Harvard University have analyzed results. The analysis focuses on the exposure of methyl groups. Those are nothing but tiny elements of chemical that stick with DNA and effect where genes are active and inactive. The analysis of these on-off gene patterns reveals the existence of cancer. Thus the new study provides some highly-impressive and comprehensive results. The team has tried it on blood samples of around 3,600 people. The test has diagnosed cancer patients with greater precision in 99.4 % of cases. Only 0.6% of the cases were left misdiagnosed.
As per the inspectors, the technology has 76% accuracy in diagnosing high-mortality cancers. Apart from this, it has detected stage one and stage two cancers with 32% and 76% precision respectively. Even more, the test has diagnosed stage four cancers with 93% accuracy. The latest blood test has found various types of cancers, including head, breast, neck, gall bladder, lung, pancreatic, lymphoid, and leukemia.
Geoffrey Oxnard, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is the leading author of the study. He said their previous work research had revealed advantages of methyl-based test over conventional DNA-sequencing approaches. Methyl Groups work best in case of detecting various forms of cancer in blood samples. Oxnard notes the results of the new study show such methods are a feasible alternative for testing people for cancer. They have presented the latest finding at ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) 2019 congress. Now researchers anticipate their discovery will enable patients to get diagnosed and cured in early stages. Still, it seems unclear when the technique will be available for all.