Washington: Scientists claimed to have developed a new blood test that can accurately detect whether a person is susceptible to develop bladder cancer.
That gave them the tell-tale pattern of methylation to look for in immune system cells in the blood. Then, under properly blind conditions, they applied that test to the blood of a similar number of people who either had the cancer or didn`t, and made their predictions.They found that they could indeed determine who had the cancer and who didn`t, based solely on the methylation pattern they observed.Controlling for the exposure to known risk factors like smoking that the patients reported, the researchers saw that people with the methylation pattern were 5.2 times more likely to have bladder cancer than people who did not have the pattern.As the samples used in the study came from people who already had the cancer, Marsit said further research is needed to confirm whether methylation markers in their immune system cells were predictors of cancer or just showed that the cancer was already there.However, the study, at least, proved that the cancer is associated with a methylation pattern that can readily be detected in the blood, Marsit said.For cancers that are buried deep in the body and are therefore hard to detect, such as bladder cancer, a minimally invasive test that provides either prediction or early detection of cancer could make a big difference in improving a patient`s prognosis, he added.Testing for methylation in blood cells could also be similarly applicable to other cancers, the researchers added.PTI
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