Researchers from the University of Bradford have developed a simple blood test that can be used to diagnose cancer in humans.
The new test will allow doctors to rule out cancer in patients with certain symptoms, saving time and avoiding costly invasive procedures, such as colonoscopy and biopsy. In addition, a simple analysis can be useful for examination of patients with suspected difficult to diagnose the type of disease.
The first results showed that the method gives a high degree of accuracy of diagnosis of diseases precancerous conditions in patients with melanoma, colon cancer and lung. The essence of the new analysis in the observation of the sensitivity of white blood cells and measuring the damage caused to their DNA by exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation.
The results of the empirical study show a clear distinction between damage to white blood cells in patients with cancer and pre-cancerous conditions and from healthy patients. Professor Diana Anderson commented on the results: "White blood cells are part of the natural defense system of the body. We know that they are under stress when fighting cancer or other diseases. During observations we found that people with cancer have DNA which is easily damaged by ultraviolet light."
Preliminary tests, which were attended by 208 patients and healthy people showed the effectiveness of the new analysis. Anderson said: "these are the first results of the analysis of the three different types of cancer, and we recognize that more research is needed, but the results are astounding. We believe this confirms the high potential test as a diagnostic tool."