New blood test can detect 50 types of cancer (Bombastic Misleading Headline, by The Guardian)
A new blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer has been revealed by researchers in the latest study. Writing in the journal Annals of Oncology, the team reveal how the test was developed using a machine learning algorithm. The team initially fed the system with data on methylation patterns in DNA from within blood samples taken from more than 2,800 patients, before further training it with data from 3,052 participants.
When it came to identifying people with cancers the team found that, across more than 50 different types of cancer, the system correctly detected that the disease was present 44% of the time – although the team stress that figure could differ if the test was used to screen a general population, rather than those known to have cancer. Detection was better the more advanced the disease was. Overall, cancer was correctly detected in 18% of those with stage I cancer, but in 93% of those with stage IV cancer.