New blood test detects 14 types of cancer
Rather than measuring individual cancer biomarkers which often lack the sensitivity and resolution for positive diagnosis, the new test uses a different technique called immunosignaturing which profiles the entire population of antibodies circulating in the blood at any given time.
The technique evolved from research into the effect of different diseases on the immune system and relies on a micro-array of thousands of random sequence peptides imprinted on a glass slide.
When a drop of blood is tested on the micro-array, antibodies bind to the peptide and form an individual image of immune activity, not unlike a fingerprint.
According to the researchers from Arizona State University Centers for Innovation in Medicine the test can be used to identify cancers including lung, prostate, ovarian and brain cancer before symptoms emerge.
The researchers looked at blood samples from more than 1500 people with cancer and healthy