A team of Chinese researchers claims that they can pick up if you have cancer up to four years in advance before you show signs of any symptoms.
“We demonstrated that five types of cancer can be detected through a DNA methylation-based blood test up to four years before conventional diagnosis,” the team wrote in Nature Communications.
They said that their non-invasive blood test called PanSeer could trace up to five different types of cancers. They say that it detects cancer in 95% of individuals who have no symptoms but later receive a diagnosis.
“We’re turning the proof of concept stage into a commercial product that is robust, inexpensive and can be deployed in clinics,” co-author Kun Zhang, department chair of bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, told NBC News.
This study has its limitations and is not perfect yet. The primary issue being that the study is based on a small group of people, in fact, based on the studies conducted on less than a thousand people. Also, as of now, we can not tell which of the five cancers the patient is gonna be affected with. He could be having any of the five types of cancers that this test can identify.
“This is an exciting study which provides further confirmation that methylation-based assays can detect cell-free circulating tumor DNA and may form the basis for new screening tests that detect cancer at early stages. There is a need for such tests to screen for cancers for which there are currently are no effective screening paradigms,” Dr. Eric Klein, of Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute said.
Samantha Harrison, a senior early diagnosis manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The PanSeer test has achieved encouraging initial results. Promisingly, the test may be able to detect cancer in blood samples taken years before diagnosis. But these are early results that now need to be validated in larger studies.”
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