An important step in developing a blood test that detects all cancers was made by scientists in the United States headed by Greek oncologist Nikolas Papadopoulos, who developed a test that can diagnose eight different types of cancer.
The ultimate goal of the scientists is to have a blood test that everybody will take every year so that any type of cancer can be diagnosed early enough to increase the likelihood of cure and survival. Such a universal early diagnosis test, before the appearance of the first symptoms of cancer, is considered to be the “Holy Grail” of oncology.
The test was tested in 1,005 patients with diagnosed non-metastatic (stage one to three) cancers of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon, lung and breast, which had not spread to other organs. For five of these cancers (ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreas and esophagus) there are no early diagnosis tests to date.
The new test detected an average of about 70% of these cancers, with success rates ranging from 33% for breast cancer to 98% for ovarian cancer.
The results of the second larger five-year trial to about 50,000 women aged 65 to 75 who have never had cancer thus far, are expected with great interest. A first test of 812 healthy individuals shows that CancerSEEK shows false positive results (shows cancer without actually being present) in less than 1% of cases.