A revolutionary blood test that detects 95 per cent of cancers can change the way the disease is treated.
Scientists have discovered a protein produced by deadly malaria parasites can bind to a molecule present on most cancer cells, including pancreatic cancer.
The scientists found that when 10 cancer cells were exposed to the protein in the lab, nine successfully bound to it.
According to a report published in MailOnline, study author Professor Ali Salanti from the University of Copenhagen said that they “Today, it’s difficult to determine which stage cancer is at. Our method has enabled us to detect cancer at stages one, two, three and four,” she added.
She added, 'We catch the cancer cells in greater numbers than existing methods, which offers the opportunity to detect cancer earlier and thus improve outcome.'
Current cancer diagnosis methods detect markers on tumours, however, not all cancerous growths have these markers, such as liver, lung and bone forms of the disease. However the new method to diagnose can be used broadly.
The malaria-protein method detects liver and pancreatic cancers, with the latter having just a seven per cent five-year survival rate due to it often being diagnosed too late.
The researchers hope the blood sample will be carried out on at-risk people, such as those with a family history of cancer.