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Study: Blood test may find early lung cancer

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WASHINGTON - A blood test that looks for the body's own immune response to tumors may provide an easy way to find lung cancer in patients long before an X-ray or CT scan could, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

The test correctly predicted non-small-cell lung cancer in blood samples taken from patients years before they were actually diagnosed with lung cancer, the researchers reported.

If the test's reliability can be confirmed, it might become the first new blood screen for any cancer since the prostate specific antigen or PSA test. The test is licensed to privately held Rockville, Maryland-based 20/20 GeneSystems Inc.

"These data suggest antibody profiling could be a powerful tool for early detection when incorporated into a comprehensive screening strategy," the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Non-small-cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, and has an average five-year survival rate of only 40 percent.

Lung cancer is by far the biggest cancer killer globally. Each year 10 million people are diagnosed with it, according to the Global Lung Cancer Coalition, and half of all patients die within a year of diagnosis. It kills more than 160,000 people annually in the United States alone.

Special X-rays known as computed tomography or CT scans can find lung cancer tumors, but they have a high rate of false positives — meaning many people have to undergo a painful biopsy to get a piece of a suspicious lump out of the lung, only to find out it was not cancerous after all.

Li Zhong and colleagues at the University of Kentucky developed a test that looks for certain proteins the body makes in response to very early lung tumors.

When they tested it in people who were being treated for lung cancer, it correctly identified 90 percent of cases, and with very few false positives in samples taken from people who did not have lung cancer.

They went back and tested blood samples taken from some of the lung cancer patients years before they were diagnosed. The test found cancer in four out of seven samples taken a year before diagnoses, and in all 18 samples taken two, three and four years earlier.

"Based on doubling times, a lung cancer can be present three to five years before reaching the conventional size limits of radiographic detection," Zhong's team wrote.

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I just came across a similar piece....

Blood Test Predicts Detects Lung Cancer Years Before CT Scan

Main Category: Lung Cancer News

Article Date: 16 Jul 2006 - 6:00am (PDT)

A new blood test is able to correctly predict non-small-cell lung cancer in patients years before any CT scan can detect it, say researchers from the University of Kentucky, USA. The test identifies human immune response to tumors.

Non-small-cell lung cancer patients have a 40% chance of living for five years or more after diagnosis. 50% of patients die within the first year. It is the most common lung cancer.

If further studies confirm its reliability, this will become the first blood test to predict cancer since the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test.

You can read about this research in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Lung cancer kills more people around the world than any other cancer. 10 million new lung cancer diagnoses are made each year. Over three quarters of all lung-cancer patients are/were long-term regular smokers.

At the moment the most common way of diagnosing lung-cancer is with a CT Scan (computed tomography). However, CT scans are not completely accurate and patients often have to have a piece of the lump in their lung extracted for further tests - they have to have a biopsy. Biopsies for lung cancer can be painful. It is common for the biopsy test to find there was no cancer at all.

The biggest problem with lung cancer survival is that many patients are diagnosed when the cancer is well advanced.

This new blood test has an accuracy rate of at least 90% among people who have lung cancer and an extremely low false positive rate, say the researchers. In other words, unlike CT scans, this blood test does not commonly indicate lung cancer when it is not there.

In this study the researchers used blood samples from lung cancer patients years before they had been diagnosed. The tests was surprisingly accurate in predicting lung cancer.

According to Dr. Zhong, lead researcher, and team, lung cancer can be present three to five years before reaching the conventional size limits of radiographic detection.

As with most cancers, the earlier it can be detected, the easier it is to cure the patient.

Journal of Thoracic Oncology: Volume 1(6) July 2006 pp 513-519

”Profiling Tumor-Associated Antibodies for Early Detection of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer”

Zhong, Li PhD; Coe, Sarah P. BS; Stromberg, Arnold J. PhD; Khattar, Nada H. PhD; Jett, James R. MD; Hirschowitz, Edward A. MD

Link To Original Article

Written by: Christian Nordqvist

Editor: Medical News Today

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthn ... &nfid=crss

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