Blood test to detect 8 cancers early gives promising results

Blood test to detect 8 cancers early gives promising results

Scientists are reporting progress on a blood test to detect many types of cancer at an early stage, including some of the most deadly ones that lack screening tools now.

Many groups are working on liquid biopsy tests, which look for DNA and other things that tumors shed into blood, to try to find cancer before it spreads, when chances of cure are best.

In a study Thursday in the journal Science, Johns Hopkins University scientists looked to see how well their experimental test detected cancer in people already known to have the disease. The blood tests found about 70 percent of eight common types of cancer in the 1,005 patients. The rates varied depending on the type — lower for breast tumors but high for ovarian, liver and pancreatic ones.

In many cases, the test narrowed the possible origin of the cancer to one or two places, such as colon or lung, important for limiting how much follow-up testing a patient might need. It gave only seven false alarms when tried on 812 others without cancer.

The test is nowhere near ready for use yet; it needs to be validated in a larger study already underway in a general population, rather than cancer patients, to see if it truly works and helps save lives — the best measure of a screening test’s value.

We’re very, very excited and see this as a first step,” said Nickolas Papadopoulos, one of the Hopkins study leaders. ut we don’t want people calling up” and asking for the test now, because it’s not available, he said.

Some independent experts saw great promise.

It’s such a good first set of results” that it gives hope this approach will pan out, said Dr. ter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who consults for a gene testing company. Anything close to 50 percent or 40 percent detection is pretty exciting stuff,” and this one did better than that, he said.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, was encouraged that the test did well on cancers that lack screening tests now. If a blood test could find 98 percent of ovarian cancers at an early stage, as these early results suggest, “that would be a significant advance,” he said.

But he cautioned: “We have a long way to go to demonstrate its effectiveness as a screening test.

The test detects mutations in 16 genes tied to cancer and measures eight proteins that often are elevated when cancer is present.

It covers breast, colon and lung and five kinds that don’t have screening tests for people at average risk: ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal. Prostate cancer is not included. A blood test already is widely used — the PSA test — but its value for screening is controversial.

Researchers tried the new test on people whose cancers were still confined to where it started or had spread a little but not widely throughout the body. It detected 33 percent of breast cancers, about 60 percent of colon or lung cancers and nearly all of the ovarian and liver ones. It did better when tumors were larger or had spread. It did less well at the very earliest stage.

The test probably will not work as well when tested in a general population rather than those already known to have cancer, researchers say. Hopkins and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania have started a study of it in 10,000 Geisinger patients who will be tracked for at least five years.

The work was financed by many foundations, the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which provides The Associated Press with funding for health and science coverage. Many study leaders have financial ties to gene testing companies, and some get royalties for patents on cancer detection methods.

Researchers say the test could cost around $500 based on current materials and methods, but the ultimate goal is to commercialize it, so what a company would charge is unknown.

Also this week, Taiwan-based CellMax Life gave results on its liquid biopsy test, which looks for whole tumor cells shed into blood, at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.

Researchers tested 620 people getting colonoscopies or with confirmed colon cancer at a hospital in Taiwan. The company said its test had an overall accuracy of 84 to 88 percent for detecting cancer or precancerous growths and a false alarm rate around 3 percent.

The company’s chief executive, Atul Sharan, said U. studies should start this year. The test is sold now in Taiwan for $500, but should cost around $150 in the U. S. he said.

Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the oncology society, said results are encouraging, but the test needs more study, especially to see if it gives too many false alarms.

The last thing you’d want is a test that tells you you might have cancer if you don’t,” he said.

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Group Nine Media hires Stacy Green as its first chief people officer

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ARM’s CEO Simon Segars on Spectre/Meltdown, IoT security and more

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CES sucked this year

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I’ve heard tell of people predicting the weather through achy joints. CES isn’t all that different. You get a sixth sense about the show once you’ve been to a few.

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Diverse teams are still *really* good for business, McKinsey says

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Netanyahu woos B'wood stars

Shalom. I used to think I was a big deal, and then I found out that Amitabh Bachchan has 30 million more Twitter followers than I do. and let’s just say that you guys are a big deal. The reason for that is that the world loves Bollywood. And Israel loves Bollywood — I love Bollywood,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to a hall full of actors and filmmakers gathered at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom in Mumbai Thursday evening.

Prior to his visit to India to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic ties between India and Israel, Netanyahu’s initiative to invite Bollywood to shoot films in Israel was well known and advertised. In December, a delegation from Bollywood, including filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, visited Israel on a trip organised by their foreign and culture ministries. And at Shalom Bollywood, an event organised to showcase Israeli locations to some of Bollywood’s movers and shakers, Netanyahu spoke about “putting money where our mouth is”.

Before PM Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel, just two weeks before, we passed in the government several resolutions cementing ties with India. begin with. And by the way, gentlemen, congratulations, you used up not all of it, there’s still some left. And I want to make a pledge tonight: if you come and you need more, we’ll put in more. We want Bollywood in Israel,” he said.

This was good news for the attendees and the media that endured security checks running longer than an average Bollywood film. Advani, who was addressed by Netanyahu in his speech.

Nikhil, ever hear of Homeland, P. O. W? That’s an Israeli format. I don’t need to watch it, I live it, all the time,” he said. vani’s 2016 award-winning TV show on Star, P. W, was an adaptation of Israeli series Hatufim; it also inspired HBO’s Homeland.

Amitabh Bachchan, who grimaced when an enthusiastic announcer described him as the “Superstar of the Millennium”, was one of the first celebrities to arrive on time. delivered a short speech, highlighting the soft power of the Hindi film industry. India produces more than 1,500 films every year — that’s four times more than what Hollywood produces and twice as much that comes out of China. 36 billion tickets are what Hollywood sells. India sells approximately 2. 6 billion tickets,” said Bachchan. These figures are precisely why Israel’s tourism ministry presented a video of places such as Haifa, Eilat, Masada and others, in addition to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and screened it immediately after the actor’s speech.

By setting aside funds for Bollywood productions, and handing out tax breaks, Israel is positioning itself as the next destination for an industry that possibly leads the world when it comes to set-jetting — the trend of travelling to destinations that are first seen in movies. Before he addressed the room, Netanyahu presented Johar and Apoorva Mehta of Dharma Productions with a memento to commemorate Bollywood’s first outing in Israel. Johar’s next production, Drive, directed by Tarun Mansukhani and starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez, features a song shot in Tel Aviv last year.

Social media was on Netanyahu’s mind all evening. At the end of his speech, he invited Bachchan and the rest to come up on stage for a group selfie, inspired by the famous Oscar selfie in 2014. Let’s all tag this photo so that a hundred million people can see the great friendship between our two countries,” he said. the tallest celebrity in the room, it fell to Bachchan to take the picture.

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