From: Reuters
Published June 2, 2008 01:44 AM

Blood test may detect lung cancer in early stages

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A simple blood test may be able to detect lung cancer in its early stages, which would represent a promising strategy to improve survival rates, researchers said on Sunday.

The two-year survival rate is only about 15 percent mainly because the disease, which kills 1.3 million people globally a year, is often diagnosed in advanced stages.

Preliminary findings of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, suggest that a specific genetic profile for lung cancer is present in the blood and can be detected with 88 percent accuracy.

The blood-based lung cancer genetic fingerprint is suitable to identify the disease and predict its occurrence within two years, the study said.

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Dr. Thomas Zander of the University Clinic Cologne, who led the research, said more studies are needed to validate the findings.

"Early detection of lung cancer is a major need," Zander said.

(Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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