A simple blood test that can identify 18 early-stage cancers will be a medical “gamechanger”, scientists said this week.
Early detection is key to driving down death rates for cancer, which kills around one in six people globally.
In a study, the new test identified 93% of stage one cancers in men and 84% in women. The trial was run by the test’s maker, Novelna, which said it represents a “major leap in cancer screening”. However, with just 440 people taking part in the trial, more research is needed.
Existing blood tests can already detect cancer, but often only one type and with limited reliability.
In the journal BMJ Oncology, the team wrote: “These findings pave the way for a cost-effective, highly accurate, multi-cancer screening test that can be implemented on a population-wide scale.
“This could re-shape screening guidelines, making this plasma test a standard part of routine check-ups.”
Image: Anna Shvets