A new blood test which promises to detect cancer up to a year before the formation of tumors is being used in U.K. hospitals after a “radically successful” trial.
Hailed as the “holy grail” of cancer detection the “first pan-cancer blood test” was developed by Indian firm Epigeneres Biotech in 2021, according to the New York Post. In a trial with 1,000 patients split evenly between those afflicted with cancer and those who were not, scientists were able to predict the formation of tumors for at least 25 types of cancer including breast, pancreatic, lung and colorectal, the outlet reported. Through the test, some patients in the non-cancer group were found to have a “predisposition” for certain cancers.
“We did not get even one false negative, not even one false positive,” Ashish Tripathi, founder and CEO of Tzar Labs and chairman of Epigeneres Biotech said, according to the New York Post.
‘Holy grail’ of cancer detection predicts tumors a year before they form: breakthrough https://t.co/2AlNILbDOs
— New York Post (@nypost) March 28, 2023
In an interview with author and medical advocate Deepak Chopra, Tripathi further explained, “Not only can I actually detect it at this stage — I can actually tell you which cancer and where it is forming, straight from a blood test.”
A tumor is formed by 1 billion cancer cells, measuring in its earliest stages at just 1 cubic centimeter, often too small to detect for even CT scans. As it grows, the tumor sheds cancerous cells which could potentially cause cancer to spread, the New York Post reported.
All cells, Tripathi explained, start as stem cells but those that become cancerous carry with them a genetic marker that “tells” them to become cancerous. Tripathi’s blood test stands apart from others by zeroing in on stem cells with that genetic marker for cancer, instead of seeking out indicators for full-blown tumor cells that could already be present.
Tripathi’s blood test isn’t just a good prognosticator for early cancer detection, but it can help those who have already been diagnosed by indicating which organ(s) cancer cells will target, helping doctors stop the spread of cancer before it becomes more difficult to treat, the outlet stated. (RELATED: Research Shows Merck & Co.’s Keytruda Cut Risk Of Death In Lung Cancer Patients By 51 Percent)
“Normally this is not an easy process. Many patients currently undergo scans, biopsies and clinic appointments. To have one blood test to detect the presence of cancer at the earliest stage — or even before it develops — could save many lives. This could be a game-changer,” Dr. Sherif Raouf, a gastrointestinal cancer specialist who will lead a trial at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, told The Express.
“Picking up cancer at the earliest stage is the holy grail of cancer medicine,” he continued.