Research & Development

New blood test appears to detect hidden cancer

Biotech company Guardant Health has announced that its blood test-based cancer screening technique appears to be effective: the liquid biopsy detected cases of colorectal cancer in 83% of patients who had the disease. It also correctly detected people who did not have colorectal cancer 90% of the time. However, some investors are disappointed with the technology’s ability to detect precancerous tumours.
Guardant Health has shared in a press release that it intends to use the findings of this study to submit the test to the FDA for approval in the first quarter of 2023.
One investor, SVB Securities, was slightly disappointed, noting that the 83% figure was significantly lower than the figure Guardant Health announced earlier this year.
It is also worth noting that the test was able to detect advanced adenomas or noncancerous tumours that indicate a risk for colorectal cancer only 13% of the time, arguably a disappointing figure.
Amir Ali Talasaz, Guardant Health’s co-chief executive officer, commented: “We’ve been working steadily for many years to reach this milestone. […] As of today, blood-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is a reality.”
There is still a long way to go before blood-based screening will replace colonoscopies entirely, however looking to the future, Talasaz stated that five years from now “we could have a blood-based screening test for colon cancer using blood for over 130 million people in the United States with no out-of-pocket cost.”