February 7, 2018 – Eight Cancers
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:05 — 1.5MB)
Anchor lead: A new blood test may help to detect eight different cancers, Elizabeth Tracey reports
CancerSEEK is the name of a new blood test developed at Johns Hopkins with study results published recently in Science that looks for the presence of eight different types of cancer using a blood sample. Nicholas Papadopoulas, senior author of the paper, describes the method.
Papadopoulos: It’s single blood test that can detect a number of different tumor types. This study was on eight common cancers, or cancers that do not actually have any screening modality right now. And we detect DNA that comes from cancer cells or circulating tumor DNA and also we detect levels of protein biomarkers that are elevated in individuals which may have cancer. :28
The test varied quite a lot in its ability to discern the presence of the specific cancer types but could identify the presence of cancer at all about 99 percent of the time. Such specificity would allow people to forgo follow-up when no cancer is detected. Papadopoulos estimates several more years of research are needed to get CancerSEEK ready for use. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.