Could a New Liquid Biopsy Cancer Test Reduce the Risk of Late Cancer Diagnosis?
In an age where the late diagnosis of cancer is adversely affecting hundreds of thousands of lives, a revolutionary new liquid biopsy cancer test could help increase a patient’s chances of surviving the disease by providing an accurate cancer diagnosis within minutes.
In recent years Blackwater Law clinical negligence solicitors have dealt with an increasing number of enquiries from individuals seeking to pursue clinical negligence compensation as a result of cancer misdiagnosis. But the new liquid biopsy cancer test could help doctors detect and diagnose some forms of cancer faster and more accurately, thereby reducing the number of people seeking redress for late diagnosis of cancer. The new cancer test could also help to eliminate the late diagnosis of certain types of cancer altogether, and could also help reduce the risk of cancer misdiagnosis in many patients.
10-Minute Saliva Test Displays Promising Accuracy
Professor David Wong of the University of California in Los Angeles claims to have developed a revolutionary 10-minute saliva test which has until now displayed promising accuracy in detecting cancer in patients. What is more, the test costs just £15 to undertake. If initial research highlighting the effectiveness of the test is supported by additional research, the test could be adapted in the UK, helping doctors diagnose cancer sooner and provide more effective treatment for the victims of cancer.
New Liquid Biopsy Cancer Test Could Provide Same-Day Results
Currently, there are a range of tests undertaken by doctors to assist in the diagnosis of cancer and it can take anything from a couple of hours (for a standard full blood count test) through to several weeks (for more complex testing) for these to produce definitive results. Even once results are produced, with some forms of testing it may still not be clear whether cancer is the cause of any anomalies in results since similar deviations from “normal” results can be produced by lesser complaints. As a consequence, it is often the case that a combination of tests will be utilised by medical professionals. The new test, dubbed “liquid biopsy”, works by rooting out fragments of a genetic molecule known to be linked to cancer, and is purported to provide results so quickly that patients could potentially have same-day results after just a short wait at their local practice. So far, the new liquid biopsy cancer test has only undergone extensive testing on lung cancer patients, but with results as accurate as those being reported, questions are being asked as to whether it may be as effective in providing early diagnosis of other types of cancer too. In a statement to Sky News, Dr Wong issued the following quote:
“One that comes to mind and is on our agenda is pancreatic cancer where one gene is mutated in 95% of patients … currently there are no effective early screening capabilities for pancreatic cancer at all…Down the road it might be possible to test for multiple cancers at the same time”
New Cancer Test Could be Available Through Local Pharmacies
If proven to be as effective and successful in diagnosing cancer as initial research suggests, it has been suggested the technology has the potential to be made available through local pharmacies – allowing patients to purchase home-testing kits and safeguard their own health- as well as on site at GP and dentist practices. The benefit of such an accessible and easy-to-use means of testing clearly has the potential to reduce some of the burden on an overstretched NHS system. In supporting early diagnosis of cancer it could also reduce the number of people pursuing compensation for late diagnosis of cancer and related medical negligence claims.
Clinical Trials to Commence in 2016
Clinical trials of the effects of the new liquid biopsy cancer test on lung cancer patients are due to commence later this year. Before the test can be used by medical professionals and organisations in the UK, it must first be approved by UK medical regulatory bodies.
Jason Brady, clinical negligence solicitor at Blackwater Law, commented:
“Late diagnosis and misdiagnosis of cancer ruins lives and pulls apart families. Any medical development that can improve the effectiveness of cancer diagnosis and provide for earlier detection and treatment of the disease will save thousands of lives and spare much suffering.”