Medical researchers say they are making progress with developing a blood test that can detect cancer in patients far before the first symptoms appear.
Researchers at John Hopkins University were able to use this groundbreaking test to detect four of the deadliest cancers: breast, colon, lung, and ovarian.
Houston area doctors consider this test promising in the fight against cancer.
MD Anderson's Chair of Cancer Biology Dr. Raghu Kalluri explains how test works, “It takes the DNA that is floating in the blood of an individual…that DNA can be amplified or studied in a way that you can detect some cancer related changes."
Early detection is key, particularly since cancer if the number two killer of all Americans. Doctors’ point out that detecting cancer in its early stage could save millions of live globally each year.
While the test is fairly new it does provide new hope for both patients and doctors.
"It's a very promising first step in identifying ... and it is a very good marker to detect cancer in the future before it becomes too advanced," said UT Health Oncologist Dr. Anneliese Gonzalez.
The study is still in its infancy stages so there are more steps that need be taken in the medical field to make this test available to patients.
"This is a very difficult area of cancer research and so these studies are exciting but the bar is very high to reach so that we can tell people with some degree that this is going to happen,” said Dr. Kalluri.
It may be a while before this test is used for cancer screenings, but it does provide some much needed hope in the fight against cancer.