- The Australian
- 6:00AM January 19, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
This Looks Like Really Good News To Me. Nobel Prize Winning Stuff If Proven Up I Reckon.
This appeared duding last week:
Scientists have created a blood test that can detect eight of the most common cancers long before they turn lethal, in a breakthrough that could save millions of people from premature death.
The “liquid biopsy” identifies early-stage tumours from proteins and genetic mutations circulating in the blood.
Trials have found that it can uncover fledgling cancers in about 70 per cent of cases, and up to 98 per cent for some types, long before they become detectable by other means. They include deadly conditions such as pancreatic cancer, which usually goes unnoticed until it has spread. The goal is to spot tumours before that happens, when survival rates are still high.
Dubbed CancerSEEK, the test delivers almost no false positives, sparing patients needless heartache and unnecessary medical procedures for non-existent diseases. It can also pinpoint tumours’ locations in about five cases out of six, paving the way for rapid treatment.
Outlined this morning in the journal Science, CancerSEEK was developed by an international team led by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Three researchers from Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute contributed to the work.
Much more detail here:
There is also coverage here:
Aisha Dow, Gene Efron
Published: January 20 2018 - 2:20AM
An annual blood test for eight common cancers could soon become part of Australians' regular health check-up, revolutionising early detection for the deadly disease and potentially saving thousands of lives.
In a major breakthrough, researchers say they have developed a test that can identify eight types of early cancer in the period before they spread to the rest of the body.
The test screens for ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, oesophagus, colorectal, lung and breast cancers - diseases collectively responsible for more than half the cancer deaths in Australia each year.
Last year they killed an estimated 25,000 people.
The test, dubbed CancerSEEK, offers particular hope for pancreatic cancer, because it is notoriously difficult to diagnose in its earlier stages. As a result, more than nine out of 10 people with the disease die within 5 years of being diagnosed.
But the researchers said there was a "wide window of opportunity to detect cancers prior to the onset of metastasis."
"For many adult cancers, it takes 20 to 30 years for incipient neoplastic lesions to progress to late-stage disease."
Although the test was not able to pick up all early stage cancers, identifying 70 per cent, it had a very low false positive rate of less than 1 per cent.
The study was led by a team of US researchers from Johns Hopkins University.
It also involved more than 400 patients from Melbourne's Footscray Hospital and two Australian scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Associate Professor Jeanne Tie and Professor Peter Gibbs.
Professor Gibbs said he envisaged that the test would be widely used for annual screening of older Australians more susceptible to cancer, aged about 50 to 75.
"It's also a test you would do in young people if they had a strong family history, or any other risk factor for cancer," he said.
"Because it's a blood test, it's fairly simple, we could do it quite frequently … likely once every 12 months."
Professor Gibbs said a new larger study involving 10,000 people in the United States was now underway to confirm CancerSEEK could save lives, although the consumer demand would probably be so great that it would become commercially available before that work was complete.
"It is probably about $1000 to do it at the moment," he said.
"It's likely over the coming years it will drop down to a few hundred dollars."
The closest similar test presently available is the PSA test, said Professor Gibbs. But it only tests for prostate cancer, and has been controversial because of its high rate of false positives (around 9 per cent).
The new tests screens for key proteins and gene mutations that indicate the presence of cancer, and is also able to identify the location of the cancer in many cases.
We really do live in wondrous times.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, January 24, 2018