October 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Health Blog


Rada Rouse
Medical Observer


A SIMPLE blood test could in future replace the mammogram to screen for breast cancer, researchers say.

Cancer Research UK is pumping more than £1 million ($1.6 m) into a project to investigate whether a blood test can distinguish between women who have diagnosed breast cancer and those who do not.

After 10 years of research, a team from the University of Leicester and Imperial College London is about to start a clinical study in the UK’s largest breast screening clinic at Charing Cross Hospital, London.

Investigator Professor Charles Coombes, from Imperial College London, said the translational science was “extremely promising”.

“When a woman has breast cancer we can tell by theDNA in their blood,” he said.

“But what we’re trying to find out in our study is how early the signs of breast cancer show up in a blood test.”

Dr Jacqui Shaw, the principal investigator from the University of Leicester, said the research may lead to women having an annual blood test rather than breast screening.

“This would remove any worry and anxiety for women who are called for further investigations after a mammogram only to find they don’t have cancer,” she said.

The team said if the research was successful it may lead to blood tests being used to detect other cancers such as in the bowel and lung, as well as to assist in management of patients by predicting which drugs their tumour will respond to, and whether a patient may relapse.

Meanwhile a team at Kansas State University announced last month they had developed a blood test which accurately detected early stage breast and non-small lung cancer by detecting increased enzyme activity in the body.

Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher


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