In a first of its kind study, British researchers have devised a certain blood test that can be used so as to diagnose whether people have cancer or not. Some of the early results have shown that the new test gives a great degree of accuracy in diagnosing cancer as well as pre-cancerous conditions from the blood of the patients with melanoma, lung cancer and colon cancer.
This blood test will let doctors rule out cancer in patients who have symptoms of tumourous growth without wasting time and expenditure in unnecessary invasive procedures. Professor Diana Anderson from the University of Bradford’s School of Life Sciences said, “We found that people with cancer have DNA which is more easily damaged by ultraviolet light than other people, so the test shows the sensitivity to damage of all the DNA — the genome — in a cell.”
White blood cells are a part of the body’s natural defence system and they go under stress when they have to fight cancer or other such illnesses.
The test which is called Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity test takes a look at white blood cells and measures damage caused to DNA when subjected to multiple intensities of ultraviolet light that is known for causing damage to the DNA.
Anderson noted that the results of the empirical study showed a clear distinction between damage to the white blood cells from patients with cancer, with pre-cancerous conditions and from healthy patients.
The study had taken a look at blood samples from at over 208 individuals. These samples were coded, randomised, anonymised and then exposed to UVA light through five different depths of agar. The UVA damage was seen in the form of pieces of DNA being pulled in an electric field toward positive end of the field, thus causing a comet-like tail.
In the new study, the longer the tail is the more damage is likely to occur to the DNA. The measurements were also correlated to those patients who were eventually diagnosed with cancer, those with pre-cancerous conditions and those who were healthy.
If this blood test proves to be useful for the diagnosis of cancer, it could be a very valuable addition to the more traditional investigative procedures for the detection of cancer.
Article source: bioscholar.com
Image courtesy: Getty
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