A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible,a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain. Researchers say the method — which can spot cancerous mutations before symptoms even appear — could spot particularly dangerous tumors that would otherwise go unnoticed. The test looks for tell-tale changes to the DNA of dead cancer cells that leak into the blood as diseased tissues break down. In their findings, reported in the Annals of Oncology, experts said the procedure was best suited to detecting cancers at a later stage of development. However, the authors said further work could result in testing that would diagnose cancers at a far earlier stage than they would be otherwise. Read more: Cancer research: Could drugs already on the market provide a cure? The test, developed by the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic, looks for molecules known as methyl groups that cause mutations in otherwise healthy cells, making them cancerous. It marks a change from more traditional methods that involve… Read full this story
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