MADRID (EFE) – A team of British scientists has confirmed that a simple blood test can improve the early detection of lung cancer, which is currently complicated.
Specifically, Researchers from the Toxicology Department of the Medical Research Council – related to the University of Cambridge – demonstrated in mouse experiments how, with a blood test, the levels of DNA circulating that tumor cells are released as they grow and multiply.
The description of these findings is published in the journal Patterns and mechanisms of diseases, in an article where her authors point out this this blood test can predict the presence of tumors in the lungs before they become malignant, a press release said Medical Research Council (MRC).
Lung cancer is the leading cause of global cancer death, partly because of the difficulty of detecting the disease at an early stage.
By the time this type of cancer is diagnosed, it often spreads to other parts of the body, making it much more difficult to treat, so a better diagnosis at an earlier stage is key to gaining. of the disease, do not forget the note.
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Scientists from MRC, along with researchers from. t University of Leicester, they used mice with a gene mutation called KRAS.
So, to determine if circulating DNA fragments of tumor cells in the blood can be used to detect tumors before they become malignant, they have taken blood samples that are combined with CT scanners to monitor development of small pre-cancerous tumors.
The team of scientists found that mice that developed lung cancers had higher levels of circulating DNA than healthy mice.
They also saw that the levels of DNA released from cancerous tumors in the blood of the mice correlated with the size of the tumors seen in the scan.
Researchers have found that in later stages of tumor development, where tumors are still precancerous, KRAS mutation can still be detected in circulating DNA.
"This observation is exciting because it suggests that tumor-causing mutations can be detected in circulating DNA of early-stage cancer patients or pre-cancerous tumors.", resume Miguel Martins, program leader in 2007 MRC's toxicology department and lead author of the study.
The authors point out that the next step will be to perform similar precancerous lesion studies in other tissues: this will give a better idea of whether circulating DNA has a potential for early detection of cancer in patients.