Can a simple blood test rule out lung cancer?
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VIDEO: Gerard A. Silvestri, M.D., national principal investigator for the PANOPTIC trial and a lung cancer pulmonologist at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, discusses the results of the trial and their… view more 

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Every year, health care providers in the United States discover more than 1.6 million lung nodules in patients. Many are “incidentally detected,” meaning they are found during evaluation for an unrelated cause (for example, a chest X-ray after a fall). Although 75 to 85 percent of these incidentally detected nodules turn out to be benign, they can pose a diagnostic dilemma for providers.

Patients with high-risk nodules may require more invasive testing such as biopsy or even surgery to remove the nodule. However, when there’s a low-to-moderate probability of cancer — anywhere from 5 to 65 percent — providers may debate who should be monitored with serial PET or CT scans and who should undergo potentially complex diagnostic tests.

Recently, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) participated in a multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the accuracy of a blood test, or “biomarker,” that measures the levels of two proteins in a patient’s plasma, LG3BP and C163A, integrated with clinical predictors of cancer, such as

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