Breast Cancer Breakthrough: New Blood Test may Detect Cancer 5 Years Before Lump

U.K. Study reports major findings that may lead to more early cancer diagnosis blood tests

Diane Lilli

A new study released by Nottingham University in the U.K. reports a major breakthrough in breast cancer. The revolutionary new findings were just released at the National Cancer Research Institute’s conference in Glasgow (NCRI).

Researchers published their findings that the study discovered a specific new blood test could discover breast cancer about 5 years before any other physical symptoms - including lumps - would emerge.

The blood test was created to search within the body for specific antibodies that point out tumor growth years before any form of mass becomes visible on the body.

Antigens, which are proteins created by cancer cells, trigger bodies to create antibodies to fight against these cells. The antibodies are called "autoantibodies".

The University of Nottingham studied 180 people, with 90 people who had breast cancer and 90 people who had not been diagnosed breast cancer in the study. The people without a diagnosis of breast cancer had their blood compared to those with the disease.

At the NCRI Conference, researcher Daniyah Alfattani said the study is ground breaking.

"The results of our study showed that breast cancer does induce autoantibodies against panels of specific tumor-associated antigens. We were able to detect cancer with reasonable accuracy by identifying these autoantibodies in the blood.”

Now, the test has been expanded to 800 patients. This test, the researchers noted,

may also be potentially used for lung cancer, pancreatic, bowel and liver disease.

Updates to follow.