A cancer test detects tumors a decade before they become dangerous

Researchers develop a blood test that identifies cancer in its earliest stages.

© Novartis AG

At the world’s largest oncology conference in Chicago last weekend, scientists announced that they have successfully trialled a universal cancer test to detect the deadly disease years before the symptoms appear.

According to The Independent, the efforts to develop the blood test by US firm Grail is backed by Bill Gates and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos with a £77.5m funding.

“It’s fair to say that if you could detect all cancers while they are still localised, you could diminish cancer deaths by 90 per cent,” Dr Bert Vogelstein, a professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told The Guardian.

With this simple blood test, researchers hope to replace the often invasive and painful biopsies commonly used to diagnose cancer. They are planning on introducing the test by 2019.

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