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BCNA News 19 Jan 2018

Researchers develop a blood test to detect early stage breast cancer

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the United States and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia have developed a blood test that can detect the presence of eight different cancers, including breast cancer.

The CancerSEEK blood test can detect tiny amounts of altered DNA and proteins released from cancer cells into the blood. Known as a liquid biopsy, the test can be carried out at the same time as a routine blood test.  It’s a much less invasive procedure than a standard biopsy, where a needle is inserted into a solid tumour to confirm a cancer diagnosis.

This is an exciting development in the cancer screening space, but it could be many years before these tests are available outside clinical trials. In the meantime, clinical trials will continue in the US over the next three to five years.

For more information about CancerSEEK read Professor Peter Gibbs’ article in The Conversation or view the journal article published in Science.