Scientists have taken a step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine – a universal blood test for cancer.
A team at Johns Hopkins University has trialled a method that detects eight common forms of the disease.
Their vision is an annual test designed to catch cancer early and save lives. UK experts said it was “enormously exciting”.
However, one said more work was needed to assess the test’s effectiveness at detecting early-stage cancers.
Tumours release tiny traces of their mutated DNA and proteins they make into the bloodstream.
The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released.
It was trialled on 1,005 patients with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, colon, lung or breast that had not yet spread to other tissues.