Researchers develop blood test to detect cancer at early stage

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Researchers in Arkansas say they have developed a blood test that can help detect cancer at an early stage.

Scientists at Stage 1 Diagnostics developed the test that is said to be simple and cost-effective, KHTV reports.

“My goal is to make cancer detection more possible,” Dr. Blake Johnson told KHTV.  “It’s very treatable, it’s very manageable, if it’s caught early enough.

“Not only is this test going to allow people early detection, but it will also allow them a better insight into the makeup of the tumor and potential for the tumor to become metastatic which is the most lethal form of cancer.”

Johnson said the test will indicate Hepsin levels, a protein produced by tumor cells. The test involves a simple blood draw.

Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock is the first hospital to offer the test to patients.

“We’ve seen it work in lots of tumor types, but prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, breast, ovarian, those are the main ones that have been looked at,” said Dr. Brent Staggs, a pathologist at Baptist Health.

The test costs about $99.

Not only is the test useful in detecting cancer, it also shows if it’s spreading throughout the body.

“If we see an uptick in Hepsin levels, we know maybe the cancer is getting worse,” Staggs said.


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