Cancer sucks. It’s a silent killer that can strike anytime without the person knowing it. In most cases, its detection comes too late as the killer cells have already spread. But researchers at Johns Hopkins University aim to change that with their new and promising blood test.
Called CancerSEEK, the new test could help doctors spot cancers earlier on, before the spread of cancer cells and before onset of symptoms. In turn, patients can have better chances of getting successful treatments and survival.
The test looks for different blood compounds believed to be early indicators of cancer.
It could cost $500, which is equal to or lower than other screening tests like colonoscopy.
The non-invasive blood test evaluate the common cancer proteins and cancer gene mutations in the blood.
In the study, published in the journal Science, scientists investigated how great at detecting cancer the experimental test is. To do this, researchers tried the test on 1,005 patients diagnosed with cancer that hadn’t spread yet. Types of cancer covered in the test include ovarian, breast, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lungs, and the two elusive types — liver and pancreatic cancers.
The study found that the test had an average accuracy of 70% for the eight types of cancer.
CancerSEEK detected 98% of ovarian cancers.
But accuracy was significantly lower (33%) for the more common breast cancer.
There are already existing tests that are used to diagnose cancer. These include blood protein testing, complete blood count, circulating tumor cell tests and tumor marker tests.
However, these tests – with the exception of blood cancer detection – can tell a patient whether cancer or other noncancerous conditions are present, Mayo Clinic explains on its website.
The existing tests only provide doctors clues as to what’s happening inside a patient.
In the new approach, however, scientists studied levels of circulating proteins in the blood and mutations found in cell-free DNA. Researchers also tested 812 healthy patients and only seven had false-positive results.
Although CancerSEEK showed promising results, researchers acknowledged that there are limitations. For instance, patients diagnosed with the disease were mostly based on the symptoms shown. In a real-life screening, patients might be difficult to test. Also, healthy individuals tested could have inflammatory diseases or other conditions that would influence the test results.
Dr. Nickolas Papadopoulos, senior study author, confirmed that a follow-up test that could last for five years should be done to evaluate CancerSEEK further.
Gut Feelings Are Results Of ‘Wi-Fi’ That Connects Human Brains, Scientist Claims
A professor finally answers where our gut feelings and intuitions came from.
Gut feelings allow people to know certain things, even if they can't explain where this idea comes from. As a result, some individuals avoid a certain person, event or place, just because they think something bad will happen.
This intuition, however, has no scientific explanation, not until now. Professor Digby Tantam, a professor of psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, says that he might have uncovered the answer to the cause of gut feelings, as written in his new book titled, Interbrain.
The brains are wired or interconnected.
Rare Genetic Mutation Causes Entire Family To Feel No Pain
Members of this Italian family can suffer burns and broken bones without noticing.
An Italian family is gaining attention worldwide, thanks to a very rare and unique syndrome. Basically, six of the members of the Marsili family feel almost no pain. They are namely, Maria Domenico (the 78-year-old head of the family), her two daughters, Maria and Letizia, and their children Bernardo, Ludovico, and Virginia.
Letizia claims to have noticed the extremely low pain threshold during her childhood. Hence she was called “superwoman” by her colleagues back then. Some of the members, particularly Maria, of the Marsili family also experienced breaking a bone or two without even realizing it.
The Marsili family has a very rare genetic mutation, enabling them to feel almost no pain.
Scientists Find Large Ice Cliffs on Mars, Possible Source of Water for Future Missions
The discovery is greatly beneficial for future missions to the Red Planet.
A group of scientists recently announced their discovery of huge deposits of water ice near the surface of Mars. This discovery could forever change all future explorations of the Red Planet.
The findings were published in the journal Science. The research was led by Colin Dundas from the US Geological Survey in Arizona.