A study published in the January 2018 issue of the journal, Science, introduced the experimental blood test, CancerSEEK. The researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, shared that this new blood test can detect 8 common cancers: esophageal, bowel, ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, lung, and breast cancers. This exciting breakthrough promises to save millions of lives.
The researchers explained that CancerSEEK is a liquid biopsy that is less invasive than a standard biopsy, in which a needle is placed into a solid tumor to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Instead, CancerSEEK can detect minute mutated DNA cells that are shed in the blood by dying cells and protein biomarkers of certain cancers.
Healthcare providers will soon be able to screen more of their patients early and refer them to treatment before their cancer metastasizes or even before they become symptomatic. Even though the test is still several years away from actual use, the hope is that this simple life-saving screening will become a part of routine blood tests such as cholesterol and glucose checks.
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