Scientists have made significant progress in the development of a blood test that can detect eight of the most common types of cancers at an early stage.
The test will help doctors know if a patient has cancer of the ovary, liver, pancreas, oesophagus, bowel, lung or breast.
The blood test is known as CancerSEEK. It detects tiny amounts of DNA and proteins released into the bloodstream from cancer cells.
A research on it was published in the journal Science.
The test was trialled on 1,005 patients, most of whom had stage two or three cancer.
It was designed to look for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released. The CancerSEEK achieved 70% accuracy.
The scientists from John Hopkins University said their vision is a test designed to catch cancer early and save lives.
CancerSEEK’s true effectiveness is now being trialled in people who have not been diagnosed with cancer.
The researchers say CancerSEEK can also suggest to doctors where to start looking for cancer in the body.
The scientists hope it can complement other screening tools such as mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer.
The test could become available to patients in the next few years.
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