In the future, newly developed blood tests could make it possible to identify lung cancer at a very early stage, before the first symptoms appear. The pulmonologist Dr. Peter Mazzone from the Cleveland Clinic in the US explains why this represents a real breakthrough in the fight against lung cancer.
“I was fortunate enough to take part in a series of research studies to develop a blood test that can detect lung cancer before symptoms appear, at an early stage when treatment is easier and cure is more likely,” explains Dr. Mazzone in a press release.
Blood tests for lung cancer
Various studies have already examined people who either suffered from lung cancer or were free of the disease and were eligible for lung cancer screening, reports the doctor.
The results of these studies show that two blood tests were ultimately able to identify the disease in the majority of participants with lung cancer, says Dr. Mazzone continues.
According to Dr. Mazzone is so promising because current lung cancer screenings are based on a much more complex CT scan, which, for example, has the problem that people at risk do not show up for the annual examinations, the expert adds.
The new blood test could help here and also identify people who would not currently be eligible for screening for lung cancer, adds Dr. Mazzone. This applies, for example, to people who do not fall into the right age group for screening.
How widespread is lung cancer in Central Europe?
According to the Center for Cancer Registry Data at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), around 22,590 women and 34,100 men were diagnosed with malignant lung tumors in 2020 alone. 17,066 women and 27,751 men died of lung cancer in the same period.
New effective methods for the early diagnosis of lung cancer could also improve the prospects of successful treatment and thus significantly reduce the risk of fatal outcomes. However, further research is necessary before the new test can be used. In the meantime, the pulmonologist advises people who are eligible for lung cancer screening to have it done. (as)