Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death, is usually diagnosed late with a low survival rate. Early-stage lung cancer is primarily asymptomatic. Low-dose spiral CT imaging (the current method for detecting early lung cancer lesions) isn’t feasible as a widespread screening test for the general population due to the high cost and the radiation hazard of repeated screenings.
A new study provides proof-of-concept for the ability of a drop of blood to reveal lung cancer in asymptomatic patients. The study demonstrates the potential for developing a sensitive screening tool for early-stage lung cancer detection.
The predictive model the researchers constructed can identify which people may be harboring lung cancer. Individuals with suspicious findings would then be referred for further evaluation by imaging tests, such as low-dose CT, for a definitive diagnosis.