February 8, 2018 – Screening for Cancer


Anchor lead:  How would a test that identifies very early cancer change things? Elizabeth Tracey reports

How would you feel about a blood test that may tell you that you have cancer at the stage when it might be just a few cells? Such a test, called CancerSEEK, has been developed at Johns Hopkins by Nickolas Papadopoulas and colleages, and while it’s not ready for prime time yet, Papadopoulas predicts such a test will entirely change clinical management of cancer.

Papadopoulos: After all you are telling a healthy individual somebody who feels healthy that you may have cancer. Trying to explain that this is what actually might save your life so I think one of the biggest barriers is how to change the mind of scientists, the community, to actually think that the first line of offense against cancer is actually to try to catch it as early as possible with tests like this or better tests in the future and then try to cure it, I think we’re doing it the other way around now.  :31

Papadopoulos says much more refinement of CancerSEEK is needed before it will be ready to be used in people who have no symptoms of cancer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.