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The main problem that is being faced by lung cancer patients is the detection of cancer at a later stage. The stage where the lung cancer has spread beyond the lungs, the cure becomes difficult. The best way to cure lung cancer at an early stage and for that, early detection is necessary. An experimental blood screening test from Grail has shown early promise in the detection of lung cancer at an early stage based on free-floating DNA released by tumors.
According to the findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, they provided results based on a sample of 127 lung cancer patients and 580 healthy people. The findings represent how a blood test at an early stage lung cancer can help to detect lung cancer. The research studied the ability of three different prototype sequencing tests to detect cancer in blood samples from the people. The tests identified lung cancer with low rate of false positives.
The initial analysis included the ability of three assays to detect cancer with stage I-IV. The assays were designed to detect cancer-defining signals to use in early cancer detection. At 98% specificity, the whole-genome bisulfate sequencing (WGBS) assay detected 41% of early stage lung cancer and 89% of late-stage lung cancer. The study found that over 54% of somatic mutations which are detected in blood samples were derived from white blood cells and not from tumors.
Dr Jodie Moffat, Cancer Research UK’s head of early diagnosis, said, “It’s 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. This research takes us towards that but there’s still a way to go.” “We need to work out why these blood tests failed to spot lung cancer in around half of cancer patients with early stage disease, whether it’s effective in people without symptoms, and ultimately whether it can save lives,” he added.
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