Media reports on blood test for cancer misleading: research team

Updated 2017-05-03 17:00:26 Ecns.cn
A reagent test kit helps diagnose multiple kinds of cancer by analyzing a drop of human blood.

A reagent test kit helps diagnose multiple kinds of cancer by analyzing a drop of human blood.

(ECNS) -- A research team led by Luo Yongzhang, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said on Tuesday that simplified interpretations of their latest findings on cancer detection are misleading, Beijing News reports.

Recent media reports said Luo and his team at Tsinghua's School of Life Sciences succeeded in inventing a reagent test kit of Hsp90α, which "can detect cancer by analyzing a drop of human blood". That is inaccurate and misleading, Fu Yan, a researcher with the team, told the paper.

The research team said what they actually discovered is a new tumor marker that may help improve the accuracy of cancer detection in some patients.

There is no 100 percent accurate method of detecting malignant tumors, said Fu. While a blood test could help with detection and assessment of treatment, it cannot alone detect cancer.

"To know if a patient has cancer, many tests are needed," he said. "Tests on tumor markers are designed to see whether a patient needs further exams. If the value of a tumor marker rises, it merely indicates a possible existence of malignant tumors, which may or may not actually be the case."

The new test kit has been approved by China Food and Drug Administration for clinical use and also received certification from the European Union, the paper stated.

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