Scientists are currently “one step closer” to detecting the early stages of lung cancer using just a blood test, according to experts. The initial evidence is from an on-going study which suggests that liquid biopsies could be the starting point of discovering the first signs of the disease developing.
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer, with over 300,000 people dying from the disease each year in the UK alone.
Scientists have created three sequencing techniques that analyse cell-free DNA within the blood. These methods, which look for mutations and genomic changes, have said to be between 38 and 51% accurate at detecting the disease early on and up to 89% effective at detecting late-stage cancers.
These findings have been deemed “very promising” by cancer charities and we are expected to see further development for the use of this potentially life saving blood test.
Lead author Geoffrey Oxnard, associate professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said: “we’re excited that initial results from the study show it is possible to detect early-stage lung cancer from blood samples using genome sequencing.”
Oxnard then went on to say that there is an “unmet global need for early detection, that can be easily implemented by health care systems.”
This research opens doors for scientists as well as opening up the opportunity for more funding for research on the deadly disease and how to prevent and/or eliminate it at the earliest possible stage.
Dr Jodie Moffat, Cancer Research UK’s head of early diagnosis, said that it is “exciting to think that one day we could offer people a blood test to find lung cancer earlier, meaning they could benefit from treatments which give them a better chance of beating the disease.”
Phlebotomy Training Services are keen to encourage aspiring nurses, researchers and scientists to become involved in the skill of taking blood. Our training services provide a brilliant opportunity to gain qualifications and experience with the medical world. If you’d like more information or you’d like to book a course, call us today on 01609 751 610.