New Blood Test Encourages the Need for Early Detection in Primary Care Settings

doctor supporting cancer patient escorting her back to her room

Cancer can be difficult to diagnose if the usual “red flags” and warning signs are not present in a patient. Early detection blood tests that are not reliant on cancer type are important to help change this. 

At RMDM, we are working hard to make early detection a priority in cancer care and revolutionize the role of early detection blood tests, like our PanTum Detect, as the first point of information.

A recent study reveals promising research for a new blood test to detect cancer in patients with non-specific symptoms. The test can also determine if the cancer is localised or has spread (metastasised) throughout the body.

The earlier medical professionals can detect cancer in a patient, the likelier patients will recover from the disease. 

Clinical Cancer Research, a journal from the American Association for Cancer Research, published the study last week. Led by researchers from the University of Oxford, the team analysed blood samples from three hundred patients who did not present classic cancer symptoms but still caused concern to medical professionals. 

Detecting ‘Unique Metabolomic Fingerprints’

The researchers used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomics to analyse the blood samples. NMR uses high magnetic fields and radio waves to determine the levels of metabolites in the blood. 

The technology can detect distinct levels of metabolites in healthy people, those with localised cancer and those with metastatic cancer. Then, the algorithms developed by the researchers can differentiate between these unique levels to determine a patient’s prognosis. 

Dr James Larkin, one of the study’s authors, explains:

 “Cancer cells have unique metabolomic fingerprints due to their different metabolic processes. We are only now starting to understand how metabolites produced by tumours can be used as biomarkers to accurately detect cancer.”

Results from the test show: 

It can correctly detect cancer with a sensitivity of 94% and can rule out healthy individuals with a specificity of 82%

Dr Fay Probert, the lead researcher of the study, adds: 

“The goal is to produce a test for cancer that any GP can request. We envisage that metabolomic analysis of the blood will allow accurate, timely and cost-effective triaging of patients with suspected cancer, and could allow better prioritisation of patients based on the additional early information this test provides on their disease.”

This test will undergo future studies with larger patient bodies to further evaluate the effectiveness of the technology.

By giving GPs access to an inexpensive, accurate, and quick solution to diagnose their patients, they can easily make more informed decisions to refer patients onto the best treatment pathway.

Innovative, proven technologies are needed to help re-shape the way we approach cancer diagnosis.

Our Early Detection Test: PanTum Detect

To help enable earlier detection, we are working hard to make our PanTum Detect test available in the UK. We are currently discussing potential partnerships with labs and clinics around the UK. PanTum Detect is CE certified and currently on the market. 

PanTum Detect can detect all cancers via a simple blood test, making it affordable and accessible for a primary care setting. The test is the result of over two decades of international research and development. 

Studies have shown that it can detect tumours anywhere in the body with a sensitivity of 97.5% and can rule out healthy individuals with 99.05% specificity: the first to achieve this high level of accuracy for multiple cancers.

The test can also detect the current stage of the tumour. 

To learn more about PanTum Detect, please read our whitepaper.

If you would like to partner with RMDM or find out more about PanTum Detect, please get in touch via our contact form.

 

Resources:

https://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2021/12/16/1078-0432.CCR-21-2855

https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2022-01-05-new-test-can-identify-if-patient-has-cancer-and-if-it-has-spread