November 4, 2019 (Medical News Today)
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, and researchers are developing a blood test that can detect early signs before symptoms even show.
Due to early detection and proper treatment, the survival rate for many types of breast cancer are high. However, symptoms don’t always show up during the first stages of breast cancer, which could cause late detection that can affect the effectiveness of treatment.
With this newly developed blood test, breast cancer could be detected 5 years before symptoms even begin to present themselves. Researchers explain that when breast cancer is present, it produces antigens that counteract with the immune system causing autoantibodies to be released. This blood test would be able to detect autoantibodies in the blood and determine if breast cancer is present.
Before studies were done, researchers developed panels of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) for breast cancer. These panels would screen for any presence of breast cancer related autoantigens in the blood. After doing many studies, researchers found that the more TAAs present in a panel, the more accurate the blood test results are.
It is believed that with more research, the tests could be available to the public within the next 4 to 5 years. These tests are also in development for other kinds of cancer, such as pancreatic, lung, colorectal, and liver cancer.