Blood Test Predicts Detects Lung Cancer Years Before CT Scan
Non-small-cell lung cancer patients have a 40% chance of living for five years or more after diagnosis. 50% of patients die within the first year. It is the most common lung cancer.
If further studies confirm its reliability, this will become the first blood test to predict cancer since the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test.
You can read about this research in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
Lung cancer kills more people around the world than any other cancer. 10 million new lung cancer diagnoses are made each year. Over three quarters of all lung-cancer patients are/were long-term regular smokers.
At the moment the most common way of diagnosing lung-cancer is with a CT Scan (computed tomography). However, CT scans are not completely accurate and patients often have to have a piece of the lump in their lung extracted for further tests - they have to have a biopsy. Biopsies for lung cancer can be painful. It is common for the biopsy test to find there was no cancer at all.
The biggest problem with lung cancer survival is that many patients are diagnosed when the cancer is well advanced.
This new blood test has an accuracy rate of at least 90% among people who have lung cancer and an extremely low false positive rate, say the researchers. In other words, unlike CT scans, this blood test does not commonly indicate lung cancer when it is not there.
In this study the researchers used blood samples from lung cancer patients years before they had been diagnosed. The tests was surprisingly accurate in predicting lung cancer.
According to Dr. Zhong, lead researcher, and team, lung cancer can be present three to five years before reaching the conventional size limits of radiographic detection.
As with most cancers, the earlier it can be detected, the easier it is to cure the patient.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology: Volume 1(6) July 2006 pp 513-519
”Profiling Tumor-Associated Antibodies for Early Detection of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer”
Zhong, Li PhD; Coe, Sarah P. BS; Stromberg, Arnold J. PhD; Khattar, Nada H. PhD; Jett, James R. MD; Hirschowitz, Edward A. MD
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