Sep, 2022 - By WMR
According to a pilot investigation, a single blood test that may screen for more than 50 malignancies appears to function rather well in practise.
The blood test discovered a potential cancer "signal" in about 1% of the approximately 6,600 older, seemingly healthy individuals. 38% of those who had more thorough testing had cancer found. Experts said the results are an important first factor in addressing how the so-called multi-cancer early diagnosis test could function in real-world applications.
A researcher at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and study co-author Catherine Marinac emphasised, "This is not ready for prime time." But she said that if more research shows the blood test to be helpful, it might change the game.
The information is derived from a Pathfinder research, which is a nationwide evaluation of the Galleri blood test being conducted at several medical facilities across the country. It's one of several blood tests being created by different businesses with the aim of offering "one-stop" screening for numerous malignancies. The Galleri test can screen for more than 50 tumour types, including those for which there is presently no regular screening procedure, including ovarian, pancreatic, and liver malignancies.
However, even if it could seem like a miracle cure, cancer screening has its drawbacks. One is the potential for a false-positive result, which might result in more, perhaps invasive testing only to reveal the absence of cancer, along with all the stress and cost that could ensue from that. The outcomes of multi-cancer early detection tests in the context of clinical treatment should also be studied, according to Marinac.
Additionally, she added, a screening procedure must eventually save lives. To demonstrate if tumours found by these blood tests are less likely to be fatal, considerably more study will be required.