Detection of cancer: biomarkers in the blood
A group of researchers from John Hopkins and other scientists from an international collaboration applied a cancer diagnostic test to 1,005 patients with non-metastatic cancer and compared them with 812 healthy controls. The authors designed a 61-amplicon panel of 16 gens to seek for cancer-associated mutation of circulating cell-free DNA from plasma and evaluating 8 already known proteins, which present altered levels in individuals with cancer. Results using this algorithm to detect some cancer types were remarkable: almost 100% for colorectal cancer and 87% for pancreatic cancer. In their study, detected mutations identified the presence of cancer and proteins biomarkers localized the organ of origin. Of 812 individuals, who actually did not have cancer, 7 scored positive and authors classified them as “as yet undetected cancer”… Test price was inexpensive. The authors of the study estimated that each test cost was less than US$500.00. Adding other biomarkers to the algorithm can improve the precision of the test and provide even better negative predictive value – which is the most important information
Cohen JD, Li L, Wang Y, Thoburn C, Afsari R, Danilova L, et al. Detection and localization of surgically resectable cancers with a multi-analyte blood test. Science. 2018:359(6378):926-30.doi: 10.1126/science.aar3247.