Cleveland Clinic joins study on blood test to detect 50+ cancers

Cleveland Clinic will evaluate the use of a blood test that can detect more than 50 cancers as part of a multisite clinical trial, the system said Aug. 6.

The blood test identifies DNA that cancerous tumors shed into the blood and analyzes chemical changes to the DNA. The test aims to detect cancer earlier — even before symptoms appear — to improve patients’ survival chances. 

Preliminary results published in March showed the test’s specificity was 99.3 percent. This means the test has a 0.7 percent false positive rate. The test also accurately identified a cancer’s location in the body 93 percent of the time.

“Even if this test only detects a fraction of people who have early-stage cancer, it’s the first time that we will be able to detect many cancers that are currently lethal when we should be able to cure them,” Eric Klein, MD, chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute who is leading the health system’s arm of the study, said in a news release.

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