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  • Conversation: New blood test can identify presence of cancer

    • January 5, 2022 12:33 PM GMT
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      New blood test can identify presence of cancer

      The test is a technological first in determining the metastatic status of a cancer without using prior insight of the primary cancer presented.
      Cancer researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a new type of blood test, which can be used to detect a range of cancers.
      The test can also detect whether these cancers have metastasised in the body and is the first of its kind, using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomics. These identify the presence of biomarkers in the blood called metabolites – small chemicals that our body both naturally produces – which are produced by cancer cells.
      The study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association of Cancer Research, analysed samples from 300 patients with non-specific but concerning symptoms of cancer.
      Non-specific symptoms included fatigue and weight loss and patients were recruited through the Oxfordshire Suspected Cancer (SCAN) pathway. Cancer was correctly detected in 19 out of every 20 patients with cancer and among those with cancer, metastatic disease was identified with an overall accuracy of 94%.
      This is the first technology able to determine the metastatic status of a cancer from a blood test, without prior knowledge of the primary cancer type. It is hoped the test will help clinicians detect cancer and assess cancer stage.
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