A panel of blood proteins can identify early cancers with great accuracy, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Blood proteins can be used to not only detect early cancers in both men and women, but also to localize them the majority of the time, a new study reports. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins says the numbers are persuasive.

Nelson: They came up with two panels, one to be used for men the other be used for women, of 10 proteins each. In this cohort a specificity of 99% they could detect the cancers that a sensitivity of about 93% that's the male panel for the cancers in men and about 84% that's the female panel and they could build larger panels that were 150 protein analytes that could assign where to look for the cancer.  :31

Nelson says early detection is key since even a very small tumor already has billions of cancer cells with a number of mutations, so assessing an easily obtained blood sample has the potential to be very helpful. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.