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Blood test could detect early-stage lung cancer

In the future, doctors may be able to use a blood test to diagnose Ohio lung cancer patients at an early stage. A new study found that a test that analyzes free-floating DNA has the potential to detect the disease. Results from the ongoing study, called the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas, or CCGA, will be presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Cell-free DNA tests are already used to determine what types of therapies might work on patients with lung cancer, but scientists were unsure these "liquid biopsies" could be used to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages. However, the CCGA study found that three types of these tests successfully detected early-stage lung cancer up to 51 percent of the time. They also showed promise in detecting other types of cancer, such as ovarian and endometrial cancer.

Lung cancer patients who receive an early diagnosis have a better chance of survival. According to researchers, a blood test that could be performed at a doctor's office has the potential to save thousands of lives. The CCGA study currently has 12,000 participants across the U.S. and Canada. The researchers hope to recruit an additional 3,000 people to participate.

Unfortunately, not all lung cancer patients are diagnosed at an early stage. In some cases, this happens because patients ignore warning signs and neglect to seek prompt medical attention. In other cases, patients seek medical help at an early stage and are failed by negligent doctors. When this occurs, patients have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim. An attorney may review a case and help gather evidence showing that a doctor failed to provide the medical standard of care.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Blood test shows potential for early detection of lung cancer," Dana-Farber, June 3, 2018

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