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
Test tube, PixaBay

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.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at