Innovation

Blood Test For Breast Cancer In The Works

The World Health Organization estimates more than 2 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. In the U.S., the invasive form of the disease is expected to affect 268,600 women in 2019. 

In January of this year, the total number of women who either survived or were taking treatments for breast cancer reached 3.1 million in the country. Breast cancer is treatable if detected early.

Researchers from the United Kingdom believe they have a tool that could help speed up the process to identify the disease in women and even men. The team at the Center of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer at the University of Nottingham developed a new blood test that offers an easy and low-cost process to check patients. 

Researchers tested the tool with blood samples from 90 patients diagnosed with breast cancer and a control group without the disease. The test focused on how the body would respond to substances produced by tumor cells. 

Results showed the blood test was able to give signs of breast cancer even five years before symptoms appear in patients.

“A blood test for early breast cancer detection would be cost effective, which would be of particular value in low and middle income countries,” Daniyah Alfattani, a PhD student at the University of Nottingham, said in a statement. “It would also be an easier screening method to implement compared to current methods, such as mammography.”

The researchers hope to put secure funding to further develop the breast cancer detecting tool and take it to the market by 2025. The team is currently exploring the accuracy of the blood test with 800 patients, Bloomberg reported

“We need to develop and further validate this test,” Alfattani said. “However, these results are encouraging and indicate that it’s possible to detect a signal for early breast cancer. Once we have improved the accuracy of the test, then it opens the possibility of using a simple blood test to improve early detection of the disease.”

In the U.S., one in every eight women is expected to develop invasive breast cancer. More than 41,700 American women are expected to die from the disease this year, according to nonprofit organization Breastcancer.org.

blood test Researchers in the U.K. said a blood test that could detect breast cancer early may become available by 2025. Pixabay

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