Research from WorldCare Consortium® member Dana-Farber Cancer Institute indicates blood test’s potential for early detection of lung cancer

11:59 05 June in Diagnosis, doctor, Medicine

A study led by doctors at WorldCare Consortium® member Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has found that a test analyzing free-floating DNA in the blood may be able to detect early-stage lung cancer. A preliminary report from the on-going Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study, which is one of the first studies to explore whether sequencing blood-borne DNA is a practical approach to early cancer detection, suggests that the blood test shows potential for early detection of lung cancer.

Early diagnosis of lung cancer is key to improving survival rates and a blood test that could be done through a simple blood draw at the doctor’s office could have a major impact on survival. Before such a test could be widely implemented, however, additional validation in larger data sets and in studies involving people who have not been diagnosed with cancer would be needed. Liquid biopsies, tests that analyze cell-free DNA in blood, are currently used to help choose targeted therapies for those already diagnosed with lung cancer. Until recently, there has been limited evidence indicating that cell-free DNA analysis may be possible for early detection of the disease.

“We’re excited that the initial results from the CCGA study show it is possible to detect early-stage lung cancer from blood samples using genome sequencing,” stated Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, lead study author at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “There is an unmet need globally for early-detection tests for lung cancer that can be easily implemented by health-care systems. These are promising early results and the next steps are to further optimize the assays and validate the results in a larger group of people.”

The CCGA study has enrolled more than 12,000 of the planned 15,000 participants (70 percent with cancer, 30 percent without cancer) across 141 sites in the United States and Canada.