New Blood Test Could Prevent Lung Cancer Relapse

doctorWith blood tests becoming more common to detect breast cancer, it is no surprise that this type of test also has the potential of detecting the return of lung cancer after the disease has been removed from the body. Recently, researchers have reported that there is a good chance that unstable chromosomes increase the overall risk that the lung cancer will return.

This information was used by researchers at the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature to predict when the lung cancer would spread before signs were apparent in the patient.

A study conducted by the Cancer Research UK-funded TRACERx tracked the medical experiences of around one hundred patients through their diagnosis, lengthy surgeries and the post-surgery phase. The researchers paid close attention to the post-surgery phase as this could lead to either full recovery or a possible relapse with the return of cancer.

One highly important discovery from this study showed that patients with a high number of unstable chromosomes in their system had a 4x more chance of relapsing. Patients with a high number of unstable chromosomes unfortunately also had a stronger chance of dying within two years.

It is also important to note that genetically diverse tumors could become increasingly resistant to treatment in patients.

Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, the study’s lead author sheds light on why this study specifically is really important when it comes to guiding patients towards the end goal of beating lung cancer.” Jamal-Hanjani states that “Determining the relationship between diversity within tumors and patient survival is one of the primary goals of TRACERx, so to find evidence for this so early on in the study is really encouraging.

“We’ve also identified what causes lung cancer to advance, providing us with insight into the biological processes that shape the evolution of the disease,” Jamal-Hanjani also stated.


Recent Study Shows Nasal Swab Could Potentially Diagnose Lung Cancer

With regard to some patients who have a low risk of lung cancer during its early stages, a recent study shows that researchers have uncovered a less invasive and more cost-efficient way to screen at risk patients. Furthermore, this research suggests that a nasal swab could accurately detect lung cancer.

According to some findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a research team from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) may have found a new way to discern whether lung lesions are malignant.

The key component is DNA-based “biomarkers” in the nasal passages which actually indicate whether a lung lesion is cancerous or not.

Marc Lenburg, co-author of the study states that “Nasal gene expression [production] contains information about the presence of cancer.” He believes the nasal swab “might aid in lung cancer detection.”

Moreover, the new study involved patients who were both current and former smokers across 28 different medical centers in North America and Europe. Through the nasal swab test, the Boston research team identified a distinct pattern of 30 genes that showed different activity from patients who have lung cancer from those who don’t.

One important outcome of this test was the ability to see cancer-associated gene expressions that were altered similarly through the two airway sites. This allowed to come to the conclusion that the brushings could be a biomarker or a scientific indicator of lung cancer.

After carefully evaluating 550 nasal samples, the research team concluded that they could actually detect lung cancer-associated genetic changes in both nose and lung cell samples. This in turn could help predict or detect if the patient had lung cancer.

While the nasal swab needs to undergo additional testing, there is no doubt that the nasal test has the potential of becoming a mass testing tool for patients across the country and even globally.