Sino-US startup develops blood test for early detection of cancers

July 22, 2020
Sino-US startup develops blood test for early detection of cancers

A new type of blood test has been shown to detect five types of cancer years before standard diagnoses – the test found cancers in 91% of people who initially showed no symptoms but were later diagnosed with stomach, oesophageal, colon, lung or liver cancer.

The technique, co-developed by researchers at the University of San Diego (UCSD) and Singlera Genomics, is designed to detect asymptomatic disease based on a biological process called DNA methylation analysis, which screens for DNA signatures specific to different cancers. The test would identify whether someone already has cancerous growths instead of pinpointing who will develop cancer. More tests are required to determine the specific type of cancer, however.

Researchers examined blood samples from more than 600 individuals enrolled in a 10-year health survey of 120,000 people in China. For about 191 patients diagnosed with cancer, the scientists used the new test to analyse blood samples taken up to four years earlier.

The researchers separately detected cancer – with 88% accuracy – in 113 patients who were already diagnosed when the blood samples were collected, but still need to carry out more studies to confirm the blood tests’ potential as an early cancer detection test. An effective detection test significantly enhances survival because the disease can be treated in its early stages and tumours can be removed.


Category: Education, Features

Comments are closed.