More Sensitive Blood Test Identifies Recurring Breast Cancer Earlier.

Research presented at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on March 29 concluded that a new more sensitive blood test is twice as effective at detecting breast cancer a year earlier than current blood tests. The researchers said the recurrence of breast cancers for women within 10 years of treatment is about 1 in 5 and early detection of these can save lives. However, current tests are not very sensitive  and the best test known as the CA 27 29, misses many cases of recurring cancerr and detects them late.

The researcher said “We have identified a group of nine biomarkers that signal recurrence of breast cancer.”¬† “Our markers detect twice as many recurrences as the CA marker does at the same specificity. They also detect cancer recurrence earlier, about 11-12 months sooner than existing tests. They accomplish this with blood samples, rather than biopsies. with less discomfort to patients.”

To locate these markers the researchers analyzed many hundreds of “metabolites” in the blood of breast cancer survivors. The markers can be detected with a mass spectrometer in clinical labs and compared with CA values to generate a score that indicates whether or not the cancer has probably returned. If believed to have returned the patient would likely undergo imaging tests to locate the tumor. It is hoped that the new test will be available within a year.

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