Non-invasive Blood Test Can Detect Cancer Four Years Before Conventional Diagnosis Methods

An international team of researchers has developed a non-invasive blood test that can detect whether an individual has one of five common types of cancers, four years before the condition can be diagnosed with current methods. The test detects stomach, esophageal, colorectal, lung and liver cancer. Called PanSeer, the test detected cancer in 91% of samples from individuals who had been asymptomatic when the samples were collected and were only diagnosed with cancer one to four years later. In addition, the test accurately detected cancer in 88% of samples from 113 patients who were already diagnosed when the samples were collected. The test also recognized cancer-free samples 95% of the time. In addition, the test accurately detected cancer in 88% of samples from 113 patients who already diagnosed with five common cancer types. The test also recognized cancer-free samples 95% of the time. 

The study is unique in that researchers had access to blood samples from patients who were asymptomatic and had not yet been diagnosed. This allowed the team  to develop a test that can find cancer markers much earlier than conventional diagnosis methods. The samples were collected as part of a 10-year longitudinal study launched in 2007 by Fudan University in China. 

“The ultimate goal would be performing blood tests like this routinely during annual health checkups,” said Kun Zhang, one of the paper’s corresponding authors and professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego. “But the immediate focus is to test people at higher risk, based on family history, age or other known risk factors.”


https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/earlycancerdiagnosis_July_2020

Professor Kun Zhang: Chair of the UC San Diego Department of Bioengineering and Corresponding authors of the July 21, 2020 Nature Communications