Early detection is extremely important in cancer treatments, helping to significantly raise survival rates. The problem, however, is that by the time symptoms start to show, the cancer may have already entered a new stage. Researchers at the University of Bradford are hoping to completely revolutionize early cancer detection with a new blood test.
The Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity (LGS) test could eventually be used to detect several forms of cancer before patients begin to develop any symptoms. Additionally, the blood test was able to detect the differences in cells of patients with cancerous and precancerous conditions, which suggests that the test could also identify patients who are at risk of developing cancer.
LGS is able to detect cancer by measuring how much damage has been done to white blood cell DNA after it has been exposed to UV light. White blood cells taken from cancerous and precancerous patients showed much more damage than those taken from healthy patients.
Dr. Diana Anderson, lead scientist, says the results of their research have been so statistically significant that "the possibility of of these results happening by chance is 1 in 1000. We believe that this confirms the test's potential as a diagnostic tool."
Researchers note that the test is still in early experimental phases and has so far only been able to detect three types of cancer. LGS is currently being tested at the Bradford Royal Infirmary to see if it can be used to predict which patients could benefit from a colonoscopy to confirm colorectal cancer.