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Novel Blood Test Predicts Breast Cancer Up to 7 Years Before it Occurs

Mammograms have been used for nearly six decades to screen for breast cancer. However, a new blood test may accurately detect breast cancer years before it develops, according to a recently published article in Metabolomics.

Researchers have attempted to identify biomarkers that predict risk of cancer, but success has been limited. Using proton nuclear magnetic resonance, scientists from the University of Copenhagen analyzed all of the compounds in blood samples obtained from participants in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health (DCH) cohort between 1993 and 1996. From these analyses, they created a “biocontour”—a complex pattern of relevant biologic and phenotypic information—that predicted future development of cancer.

They tested this biocontour in another cohort of women who provided blood plasma samples in 1997. All women were cancer-free when they donated the samples, but half developed cancer 2-7 years later. The biocontour had 80% sensitivity for predicting risk of breast cancer—even though the participants showed no signs of the disease at the time of sample donation. According to the authors, such biocontours may play an important role in the early detection and prevention of cancer.

Read more: Bro R, Kamstrup-Nielsen MH, Engelstein SB, et al. Forecasting individual breast cancer risk using plasma metabolomics and biocontours. Metabolomics. 2015 Mar 10. doi 10.1007/s11306-015-0793-8

Source: Science Daily

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