Scientists closer to developing blood test to detect cancer

By  | 

ATLANTA (CNN) Scientists may be getting closer to developing a new way to detect cancer in the body. An experimental blood test has the potential to locate early-stage cancer more easily.

Scientists are seeing progress with an experimental blood test that could detect cancer. In trials, the non-invasive test found the presence of multiple common tumors -- including in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, lung, and breast. The findings were published in the journal Science.

The blood test is called 'Cancer Seek' and could run patients less than $500. That cost is comparable to or lower than other cancer screenings.

The test enables researchers to evaluate the levels of specific blood protein markers combined with thousands of DNA markers. Using this information, they developed an algorithm to determine the source of cancer identified in positive tests.

Cancer Seek's sensitivity averaged 70-percent among eight types of cancer. It was able to detect 98-percent of ovarian cancers, but only 33-percent of breast cancers, and that's in patients who have already been diagnosed.

Researchers warn that as of now the test only lays a foundation for detection, but they are hopeful that detecting early-stage cancers could become easier in the future.