Article Content

On the horizon: a blood test for identifying solid organ tumors and their origin. A team of researchers, reporting in the February 23 issue of Science, shared preliminary results for a blood test in development to identify eight common cancers-ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, lung, and breast-before they metastasize. The team used combined assays for protein biomarkers and genetic alterations to identify the presence of cancer and its origin in the early stages. Median sensitivity results for the blood test ranged from 33% in breast cancers to 98% in ovarian cancers; the sensitivity for the earliest stage cancers (stage I) was highest for liver cancer (100%). The authors recommend prospective studies in large populations to demonstrate the test's ability to save lives.