Blood Test To Detect Cancer That Could Be Out Within A Year Will Be A First [VIDEO]
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have developed a blood test to detect cancer and its location in the body.
The cancer diagnostic method uses a computer program called CancerLocator. It was programmed first to identify clear blood samples, that is, without tumor DNA presence.
To use it for detecting cancer, blood samples are collected and the software would show a result when it detects tumor DNA and its type based on the genetic information stored in its database. The database contains information from blood samples gathered from hundreds of people.
The program can successfully diagnose cancer in the breast, liver and lungs in the early stages of the disease 80 percent of the time, according to the researchers led by Dr. Jasmine Zhou. Whether they will be able to roll out the new tool within a year largely relies on training data, testing and machine learning. They hope to raise the level of accuracy even further so gathering tissue samples is in order, prior to a series of clinical trials.
Dr. Zhou explained that cancer located in the liver and lungs is easier to detect because they are well-circulated organs. A higher accuracy rate is expected when the proportion of tumor DNA in the blood is high as well, which is more likely with liver or lung cancer than breast cancer, the Huffington Post reported.
In the University of California, San Diego, researchers are also in the process of creating a blood test to detect cancer but it will be based on a technology different from the UCLA group's. Dr. Kun Zhang and his team expect the product to be available within three years. It is still in the development and clinical trial stages.
He clarified that there are vast differences in the methods of the two products although some similarities exist. He claimed that the success rate of their method in locating cancer is 90 percent.
Health expert Lara Bennett was enthusiastic at the possibility that diagnosis for cancer in the early stage can be done without surgery, according to the Independent.