The CancerSEEK liquid biopsy (bloodtest) detects small amounts of DNA and proteins released into the blood stream from cancer cells to then indicate the presence of different types of cancer including ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, oesophageal, bowel, lung or breast. It can be used even prior to any signs of cancer for early detection. It uses AI for prediction and reliably detects early stage cancer. The study was published in Science, and the research was led by a team from John Hopkins University, with collaboration from Australian scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
CancerSEEK detects the patterns of mutations and altered proteins to not only detect the cancer but can also suggest where the cancer is likely to be based on these. It is able to look for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer patients and for eight proteins that are often released in cancer patients.
Currently the only widely used test of is the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer. This has multiple limitations and there is still some controversy on whether PSA based testing does more good than harm. This can replace that.
The test has been trialed on 1,005 patients (with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon, lung or breast that hasn’t metastasized to other parts of the body) and was able to find 70% of the cancers in the test population.
The significance of this easy test is that the earlier cancers are found, the easier and more effective treatments are.
Currently, five of the eight cancers that the test has shown promise in detection have no early screening programs in place. Pancreatic cancer, for instance, has so few symptoms that four in five people diagnosed with it die the first year of diagnosis.
Currently trials are ongoing with the aim of the test being used routinely alongside other routine tests such as mammograms and colonoscopies. The test costs $500 per patient but is unlikely to be available in clinics for another 3-5 years.
For more information on using AI in disease detection and clinical trials, please contact Eularis for a confidential discussion.