Jueves, 23 Marcha, 2017

New blood test may help detect cancer growth at an early stage

The revolutionary blood test offers the hope of screening patients during routine check-ups scientists have claimed The revolutionary blood test offers the hope of screening patients during routine check-ups scientists have claimed
Cris De Lacerda | 21 Marcha, 2017, 01:10

If cancer is painful, the treatment to prevent it is no less pain either. They work by detecting the DNA released by dying tumour cells. "And so, in this case, we developed a method where we can say whether there is a cancer growing in the body and if the answer is 'Yes, ' we can also say something about where does it grow". As the normal cells die while competing with the tumor, they release their DNA into the bloodstream, scientists believe that this DNA can prove effective in identifying the effective tissue.

Dr Catherine Pickworth, Cancer Research UK's science information officer, said: 'A biopsy can be invasive and unpleasant to go through, while any operation with an anaesthetic is risky.

Looking for the DNA of cancer cells in the blood is an exciting idea, and this encouraging new approach might help reveal the location of tumours'.

There are Pap tests, mammograms and prostate exams and other tools to help us find cancer, but what if a simple blood test could detect and even locate the disease early on? The tests detect signs of tumor DNA within the blood of those afflicted by cancer.

New research from a team at University of California San Diego shows that evidence found in cancer blood tests can help doctors identify where the malignant cells are.

They were able to test which organ they came from by checking their diagnoses back against the cancer patients.

They also examined tumour samples from cancer patients and compiled a second database.

To reach their findings, the researchers used samples from 10 different healthy tissues - including the liver, brain, lung, intestine, and colon - to produce a database of methylation patterns.

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Prof Kun Zhang, who led the study, said his team made their discovery by accident.

The haplotype signatures, identified by the blood test, could tell doctors what cells are being destroyed, and therefore what organ is being invaded by cancer.

Kun Zhang, professor at the University of California-San Diego in the United States, highlighted the significance of detecting the tumour's location, "Knowing the tumour's location is critical for effective early detection".

Professor Zhang added: 'Knowing the tumour's location is critical for effective early detection'. The test functions similar to a dual authentication process as the combination of each type of signal higher than a statistical cutoff is necessary for a positive match.

Zhang's group screened blood samples for signs of cancer markers and methylation patterns in specific tissues.

"This a proof of concept. To move this research to the clinical stage, we need to work with oncologists to further optimize and refine this method", Zhang said.