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October 2, 2006

New Blood Test Detects Lung Cancer

Topics: Medicine

lung cancer.jpgThe American Cancer Society estimates there will be about 174,470 new cases of lung cancer in 2006, and about 2 million people worldwide are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. Perhaps the primary challenges in treating lung cancer is catching it in time, before it has spread to other organs. Now, according to French researchers at the Hopital Arnaud de Villeneuve in Montpellier, France, a new blood test may be able to spot lung cancer in its earliest stages, when it is potentially curable:

[...] "While it's not ready for prime time, the test would ideally be given to seemingly healthy people at high risk of lung cancer -- for example, smokers aged 45 or older," .... "You want to give it before symptoms develop, perhaps repeating it every six months or so."

... the test detects proteins produced by cancer cells in the blood. Cancer cells produce different types and amounts of proteins in the blood than other cells ....

... blood samples from 170 people, 147 of whom had lung cancer and 23 of whom had smoking-related chronic lung disease. The test was able to identify unique protein blueprints in more than 90% of the people with lung cancer.

... nearly three-fourths of people with lung cancer are diagnosed only after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. That results in a dismal outlook, with only 6% to 16% of people still living five years later.

... In contrast, up to 70% of people whose cancer is caught early can expect to survive five years or more.

Read more of "Blood Test Spots Lung Cancer."

Related: Study in Lung Cancer Patients Finds Test May Predict Who Will Benefit From Chemotherapy.

Cross posted from New Hope Blog.

Posted by Richard at October 2, 2006 10:33 PM



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