A Better Cancer Test

Researchers have identified a group of biomarkers that can detect recurring breast cancers earlier than existing tests.

Cristina Luiggi
Mar 29, 2012

FLICKR, ASLANMEDIA

A new blood test can detect recurring breast cancers a year earlier than existing blood tests, researchers reported yesterday (March 28) at the 43rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

By scanning metabolites in the blood of breast cancer survivors, researchers at Purdue University, led by analytical chemist Daniel Raftery, identified nine biomarkers that showed greater specificity and could catch more cases of breast cancer recurrence than tests that use the widely used breast cancer biomarker, CA 27.29.

“They also detect cancer recurrence earlier, about 11-12 months sooner than existing tests,” Rafferty said in a press release. “They accomplish this with blood samples, rather than biopsies, with less discomfort to patients.”

Breast cancer survivors have a 20 percent chance of being diagnosed with a recurring cancer within 10 years of being treated. By helping catch these recurrences earlier, this new test is likely to...

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