Scientists from Stanford University in the U.S. have developed a simple blood test, which can not only determine cancer in humans, but also establish the extent of its spread throughout the body. In addition, the test is able to show how much the tumor is resistant to curative treatment.
It is possible that in the nearest future, all the patients at risk will take a special blood test, developed by American scientists. This test allows us to determine whether there is a developing tumor in the human body, how much it has spread, and whether it responds to treatment. The analysis is designed to recognize the most common cancers; it identifies the size and type of tumor.
The special advantage of the new blood test for cancer is its simplicity and speed. As stated by the creators, it can be used to diagnose breast cancer, lung and prostate cancer and other malignancies. It is known that cancer cells continuously divide and die releasing their DNA into the human bloodstream, where they can be detected. Current tests determine the level of tumor DNA in the blood (tumor markers), but it requires a lot of time to carry them out, and the accuracy of cancer diagnosis is not too high. Especially because in the later stages of cancer the number of tumor markers in the blood decreases.
Dr. Maximilian Dean the author of the test, says they have solved two problems – increased the test’s sensitivity in order to detect even the smallest remnants of cancer DNA; second – made it able to distinguish the most common types of cancer.