Recently, a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins published results about how their blood test, called CancerSEEK, supports the concept for a single blood test to screen for several types of cancer. Their test studied 2 types of markers in the blood associated with cancer: certain proteins and pieces of DNA, called circulating tumor DNA. The test is far from ready for wide use though. They tested CancerSEEK on people who had already been diagnosed with cancer to see if the blood they collected would allow them to prove the presence of cancer and where it was. The test was stronger on finding some types of cancer than others and it had some false positives, meaning it showed there was cancer when there really wasn’t. Still, the study caused a lot of excitement. So, we got a perspective from Len Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society. Here’s what he said about the research that’s been done to get us to this point and where research needs to go to bring us closer to the reality of such a comprehensive, simple screening test.
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