Posts Tagged ‘specificity’

More Sensitive Blood Test Identifies Recurring Breast Cancer Earlier.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

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.

Future Prospects for Diagnosing Lung Cancer With Blood Tests

Friday, January 29th, 2010


In an effort to let lung cancer patients avoid invasive diagnostic procedures such as biopsies or cancer producing high radiation procedures such as CT scanning and to develop a more accurate diagnostic procedure researchers are investigating blood tests. In a study presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer Dr Steve Dubinett and colleagues at the Lung Cancer Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles developed a 40-marker panel of potential lung cancer biomarkers based upon investigation of 90 patients with lung cancer and 56 controls believed to be at high risk because of smoking histories. These biomarkers correctly identified those with lung cancer 88% of the time and correctly identified those without lung cancer 79% of the time. Thus, the tests had a good sensitivity and specificity (ability of the test to correctly identify those who had the disease when they had it and to correctly identify those who did not have the disease when they did not have it). Although the researchers said the findings are preliminary and would not be available for several years, the fact that 21 of the 40 biomarker panel were significantly different between patients with stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer and the controls is promising.