June 13, 2019 – Cancer Blood Test


Anchor lead: Is being able to spot cancer with a blood test closer to reality? Elizabeth Tracey reports

You have your own DNA circulating in your bloodstream all the time, and new tests aim to identify such DNA that may come from cancer cells. Now a new test, developed by Victor Velculescu and colleagues at Johns Hopkins and other institutions, is chalking up some impressive results.

Velculescu: The test, called DELFI, spots unique patterns in the fragmentation of the DNA, shed from cancer cells and circulating in the bloodstream. We used DELFI to detect the presence of cancer in 57% to more than 99% of blood samples from 208 patients with various stages of breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric, or bile duct cancers. DELFI also performed well in blood tests from 215  healthy individuals, incorrectly identifying cancer in just four cases.  :33

Velculescu notes the promise of such testing is an easy way to spot cancer early. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.