Breast cancer blood test in development say researchers

In collaboration with the Press Association

Scientists are in the early stages of developing a blood test that could eventually be used to detect breast cancer.

The test is based on an extremely sensitive method of detecting cancer-specific proteins in the blood called 'multi-photon detection diagnostic proteomics'.

Testing on almost 350 people, around two thirds of whom had breast cancer, have shown that the test was able to correctly detect cancer in around 95 per cent of cases.

Dr Stephen Duffy, professor of screening at Cancer Research UK, welcomed the news.

"These are very interesting results which may have far-reaching implications for diagnosing breast cancer in the long term.

"Further research involving an independent group of patients and healthy volunteers is needed to validate these results, and to find out if the test is equally accurate for diagnosing early breast cancer as well as advanced disease."

The researchers said that there was a need for more effective methods of breast cancer screening, especially among younger women who have a lower mammography detection rate.

They added that the test could also be applied to other cancers, including prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and melanoma.

The study was conducted by the University of London alongside the Universities of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh and BioTraces Incorporated.

It is published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

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