Wednesday June 26, 2019

Cancer can now be predicted 13 years before it strikes

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Cancer research has just got a huge boost. The rejuvenated shot comes with the development of an error free and accurate test by scientists that predicts the chances of being implicated with cancer up to 13 years in the future.

The breakthrough was made by researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University, by making use of the discovery of tiny but significant changes taking place in the body, more than a decade before cancer was diagnosed.

According to the research, published in the online journal Ebiomedicine, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, which prevent DNA damage, were more worn down for those who went on to develop cancer.

The protective caps, better known as “telomeres”, were found to be much shorter than they should have been. They continued to get shorter and then suddenly stopped shrinking four years before the cancer developed.

Dr Lifang Hou, the lead study author, told The Telegraph, “Because we saw a strong relationship in the pattern across a wide variety of cancers, with the right testing these procedures could be used eventually to diagnose a wide variety of cancers.”

“Understanding this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer. We found cancer has hijacked the telomere shortening in order to flourish in the body”, he further said.

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GRAIL Announces Significant Progress on Blood Tests to Detect Cancer

Grail's new results are from 2,300 people

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GRAIL, Blood Tests, Detect, Cancer
FILE A patient has her blood drawn at a hospital in Philadelphia to monitor her cancer treatment. VOA

A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage and gave very few false alarms in a study that included people with and without the disease.

Many companies are trying to develop early detection “liquid biopsy” tests that capture bits of DNA that cancer cells shed into blood.

GRAIL, Blood Tests, Detect, Cancer
A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage. VOA

Grail’s new results are from 2,300 people. The test detected 55% of known cancers and gave false alarms for 1%. It also accurately suggested where the cancer may be about 90% of the time.

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The company gave results in news release Friday and will report them Saturday at a conference in Chicago. They have not been published or reviewed by other scientists. (VOA)