Scientists of Bradford University, England have designed a new kind of blood test to detect cancers and conditions of pre-cancer for most types of cancers. The test, if perfected and put in market, could eliminate the need for costly, painful biopsies, colonoscopies and other difficult processes. The test could differentiate between lung cancer, colon cancer and melanoma too.
“White blood cells are part of the body’s natural defence system. We know that they are under stress when they are fighting cancer or other diseases, so I wondered whether anything measurable could be seen if we put them under further stress with UVA light,” said Professor Diana Anderson explaining the method.
“We found that people with cancer have DNA which is more easily damaged by ultraviolet light than other people, so the test shows the sensitivity to damage of all the DNA – the genome – in a cell,” Anderson elaborated. Bearing these facts in mind, the new blood screening system, called LGS – Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity test, examines the effect of different spectrum of UV light on white blood cells, indicating the possible type of cancerous stress those cells are going through.
“The results of the empirical study show a clear distinction between the damage to the white blood cells from patients with cancer, with pre-cancerous conditions and from healthy patients,” Anderson added.
The study findings were published in FASEB, US Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.