Scientists at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center have successfully developed a new test capable of detecting early stages of breast, lung, ovarian and colorectal cancers.
While previously discovered tests can detect cancer early, the research team says their test is unique, as it can detect small amounts of DNA directly from blood. The test could improve survival rate for both colorectal and ovarian cancers, as they are most often diagnosed in later states.
There are over 14 million new cancer cases reported in the United States each year. Most cancer-related deaths are because the patients were not diagnosed until the later stages, when treatment is less effective.
During the study, the research team collected blood samples 200 patients who had cancer in various stages. The patients originated from the Netherlands, United States and Denmark.
The researchers collected blood samples from 138 patients. Utilizing the test, Hopkins researchers successfully diagnosed cancer DNA in 62 percent of those patients. Blood samples collected from 42 patients with colorectal cancer were also tested, with a 50 percent accuracy rating.
People at high risk for cancer could benefit the most from the test. Scans that are currently utilized to diagnose lung cancer often renders a false positive result. The authors noted that the blood test did not render any false positive results.
The researchers had hoped for a higher detection rate between 80 to 90 percent. The test accurately detected sage 1 colon cancer in 50 percent of the participants, 67 percent in patients with breast cancer and ovarian cancer.