Although not yet approved, the first results have shown the effectiveness of CancerSEEK, a technique capable of detecting ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon rectal, breast and lung cancer through a simple blood analysis.
Depending on the type of cancer, CancerSEEK can identify the presence of cancer with between a 69 and 98 percent level of success. In addition, the chances of the test showing a false positive are only 1 percent, according to researchers working on this project. So far, the technique has been tested in 1,005 patients with a cancer diagnosis of one of the eight aforementioned types of tumors but without metastasis.
The team, made up by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, based in Baltimore, the US, recently published its first results in Science magazine. The technique has been able to identify mutations in 16 genes related to different types of cancer.
The purpose of the CancerSEEK is to detect tumors before they spread to other parts of the body because once they have metastasized it is very difficult to solve the problem with surgery. The aim of the research is also to develop non-invasive diagnostic methods that facilitate and accelerate the diagnostic process, unlike mammograms, colonoscopies or cervical smear tests.