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According to researchers, a DNA test has the ability to identify 18 types of cancer in their initial stages.
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According to researchers, a DNA test has the ability to identify 18 types of cancer in their initial stages.

Researchers have created an uncomplicated DNA test capable of detecting 18 types of cancers in their early stages, which has been deemed a significant breakthrough in the medical field.

One out of every six deaths globally is caused by cancer, but identifying it early can greatly improve results. However, current methods for screening have limitations such as being invasive, expensive, and not very accurate in detecting cancer at an early stage.

Researchers in the United States have developed a test that examines proteins in the blood and has the ability to detect 18 types of cancer in their early stages. These cancers cover all major organs in the human body.

The researchers stated that certain blood proteins have the potential to be utilized for detecting and monitoring cancer in its early stages. However, they also mentioned that current tests lack both sensitivity (the ability to accurately identify cancer) and specificity (the ability to accurately rule out cancer).

The group from Novelna, a biotech company in the United States, reported that their assessment was more effective than others that use tumor DNA found in blood. They also stated that their test has a higher level of sensitivity compared to the Galleri test currently being tested by the NHS in the UK.

According to the experts, analyzing proteins in blood plasma allowed them to distinguish between cancer and normal samples, as well as identify specific types of cancer with high precision. The study also revealed that protein signals related to cancer are likely to differ based on sex.

In a publication for BMJ Oncology, the researchers stated that their discovery can serve as the basis for a comprehensive screening test that can detect 18 different types of solid tumors in the early stages of development. This test covers all major organs where these types of cancers originate and has a high accuracy rate.

They stated: “This could change the screening guidelines, making this plasma test a regular part of routine check-ups.”

“This discovery sets the foundation for a low-cost, precise, comprehensive screening test for multiple types of cancer that can be widely used among the population.”

440 individuals with 18 various forms of cancer and 44 healthy donors provided blood plasma samples.

The team successfully pinpointed proteins that had a high accuracy in identifying early stage cancers and their specific location in the body.

The team stated that in stage I, with a specificity rate of 99%, their panels were able to detect 93% of male cancers and 84% of female cancers.

The panels we used to identify the location of cancers were specific to each sex and consisted of 150 proteins. They successfully determined the tissue where most cancers originated in over 80% of cases.

The team stated that their analysis of plasma proteins revealed that almost all of them were present in minimal amounts. This highlights the significance of low-level proteins in detecting pre-cancerous and early stage diseases before a tumor can cause significant harm.

The team stated that due to their limited sample size, additional research is necessary in larger groups of individuals.

According to Dr. Mangesh Thorat from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine’s Centre for Cancer Prevention, who was not a part of the research, there are still uncertainties surrounding the test and further studies are necessary.

“He mentioned that this assay has notable features such as a greater ability to detect stage I cancers compared to other assays in progress, as well as gender-specific variations in performance that hold significance in both biological and clinical contexts.”

“If the results of future sequential studies are similar to those of this initial study, then it has the potential to significantly impact the field.”

Professor Paul Pharoah, an expert in cancer epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who was not involved in the research, expressed appreciation for the results but emphasized the need for caution.

“He stated that accurate and specific blood tests that can identify various types of cancer in its initial phases are the ultimate goal for early detection.”

This article presents the preliminary findings of a test being developed for early cancer detection. Although the results show potential, it is too early to determine its effectiveness.

Source: theguardian.com