(CMR) Cancer research scientists around the world are looking at what might be a revolutionary break through in cancer testing and research.
Australian scientists have come up with a test that allows them to determine if a persons has cancel cells in their about in just 10 minutes. The blood test could detect cancer in its very early stages, which would allow treatment of the disease before symptoms even develop. The blood test could also, once and for all, lead to a cure.
The blood test is being called the “Holy Grail” when it given its potention for early detection and better treatment options. It identifies tiny amounts of DNA in the body that could only come from tumors, and not healthy cells. “Virtually every piece of cancerous DNA we examined had this highly predictable pattern,” he said.
During trials, the blood test could tell the difference between tumors and healthy cells with up to 90 percent accuracy.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center scientist Joyce Ohm is looking carefully at the test because it can be used for patients who have already been treated for cancer.
“This type of test, you're going to be finding more and more research in the months, to a year or two. This is something that people will jump on quickly and they'll dive into and do a really deep dive to see if it can be used to accurately and safely help us understand what's going on with patients,” Ohm said, “and that's in the very, very near term, at least in patients that have already been diagnosed with cancer.”
There are a lot of obstacles to using this test routinely. Ohm said routine screening for cancer cells is much farther away, since the test doesn't answer a basic question: Do I have cancer?