As per the study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers, a predictive model can work to detect early-stage lung cancer from a drop of blood. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 2,35,760 new cases of lung cancers in 2021 which is a big number. This new study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and it suggests that a drop of blood is enough for detection of lung cancer.
Leo Cheng, PhD, associate biophysicist, in Pathology, Radiology, says, “Our study demonstrates the potential for developing a sensitive screening tool for the early detection of lung cancer.” “The predictive model we constructed can identify which people may be harboring lung cancer. Individuals with suspicious findings would then be referred for further evaluation by imaging tests, such as low-dose CT, for a definitive diagnosis,” he added.
The team has built a lung-cancer predictive model based on metabolomics profiles in blood. Metabolomics is defined as comprehensive analysis of metabolites in a biological specimen. The team employed high-resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy for measuring metabolomics profiles in blood samples and detected the collective reactions of metabolites within living cells. They diagnosed 25 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with stored blood samples at the time of diagnosis and at least six months before their diagnosis. The team tested blood of lung cancer patients and also tested their model with a different group of 54 patients with NSCLC using blood samples obtained before diagnosis of lung cancer.
The research team concludes that larger studies are required to validate the use of blood metabolomics models as NSCLC early screening tools. They will now focus on metabolomic profile of lung cancer’s clinical characteristics to better understand the disease and then recommend targeted therapies.
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