Blood test in development could detect 8 cancers, save more lives

DENVER -- A promising new blood test is in development that could detect multiple types of cancer with a simple blood draw.

It’s not ready for release yet, but doctors say one day it could save lives by diagnosing patients in the early stages.

That would have been helpful to patients such as Tark Yeager.  He was 39 years old when he was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer.

“They found 28 tumors throughout my body,” Yeager said.

The Centennial husband and father had battled heartburn for years, but thought he was healthy.

“They don`t know exactly how long I walked around with cancer,” Yeager said.

He hopes patients of the future will be able to catch their cancer earlier, now that this test is in development.

The test is called CancerSEEK. Research shows it can screen for cancer of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectum, lung and breast.

“It detects genetic mutations that are common in a number of different cancers and also a number of proteins that we see elevated in patients who have cancer,” said Dr. Alexis Leal, a medical oncologist  at University of Colorado Hospital.

She said the test is in its early stages of development, but it’s exciting.

“It is a big deal because if we can find these cancers earlier then we can potentially save a number of lives,” Leal said.