Simple blood test 'finds cancer before it starts'

British scientists have developed a simple blood test that can detect a cancer before a tumour has taken shape.

Simple blood test 'finds cancer before it starts'

British scientists said they have developed a simple blood test that can detect a cancer before a tumour has taken shape.

Described as offering a 'paradigm shift' in cancer diagnosis, the test - due to be introduced in Britain by early next year - is the first to identify accurately the signals sent out by a person's immune system as a cancer germinates.

According to the research, such signals can be detected up to five years before a tumour is spotted, priming doctors to intervene at the earliest moment when a solid cancer appears, reports The Times.

Brainchild of scientists at the University of Nottingham though a spin-out company called Oncimmune, the technology works by identifying how the immune system responds to the first molecular signs of cancer development.

Professor John Robertson, a breast cancer specialist who led the research, said: 'The earliest cancer we have seen is a cancer that has been screen detected, and yet biologically that's late in the road of cancer development.

'We are starting to understand carcinogenesis in a way that we have never seen before — seeing which proteins are going wrong, and how the immune system responds.

'It's as if your body is shouting 'I've got cancer' way before a tumour can be detected.'

Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2010, 18:59
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