Germany develops blood test to detect breast cancer

German researchers have developed a less invasive test to detect breast cancer with a high degree of accuracy.

Victoria Wystepek
Victoria Wystepek NewsMavens, Europe
Germany develops blood test to detect breast cancer - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

“The new blood-based procedure is much less of a burden on women since it isn’t painful and doesn’t involve exposure to radiation,” stated Sarah Schott, the head of common cancers at University Hospital Heidelberg. 

In 2018, about 627,000 women in the world died from breast cancer. Breast cancer kills more women worldwide than any other type of cancer. Early detection of cancer can increase chances of recovery by ensuring patients get timely treatment. 

The test, called HeiScreen, is a less invasive method for detecting breast cancer in women under fifty. It can identify cancer using biomarkers in the blood even before they become visible to scanning technology. The blood test is less expensive than other breast cancer screening and only requires a few milliliters of blood. So far, it has detected fifteen different types of breast cancer. It is expected to be released to the market later in 2019.

Details from the story:

  • The procedure has an 86 percent accuracy rate for women under the age of fifty, which is higher than the 70 percent accuracy rate of CancerSEEK, an alternative blood test.
  • In patients over fifty, the accuracy rate drops to 60 percent. 
  • Researchers tested 900 women over a twelve month period, 500 of whom were breast cancer patients and 400 patients without breast cancer.
  • HeiScreen can also be developed to detect metastases or recurring cancers.
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