When cancer is diagnosed early, it is easier to treat and survival is improved. However, there are only a few cancers where there is a regular screening programme. In this international study led by researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, a previously untested method can easily find multiple types of newly formed cancers at the same time, including those cancers that are difficult to detect.

This new method can detect multiple cancers in the early stages, including kidney cancer. The detection process is based on human metabolism, and could result in cheaper and more effective cancer screening. The study included 1,260 people. The researchers found that the new method could detect 14 different cancer types, and twice as many stage I cancers in healthy people who did not have any symptoms of cancer compared to circulating tumour DNA-based tests.

The method is based on the detection of a type of sugar called glycosaminoglycan, which is important for our metabolism. This sugar can be used to detect cancer from small volumes of blood or urine, which makes the tests practical and cheap to use. Changes in glycosaminoglycans can be used to detect several different cancer types at an early stage from the same blood and urine sample, even cancer types that are difficult to detect with other methods. The researchers looked at 14 different cancer types, including kidney cancer, and all 14 types could be detected with the new method.

Further research is needed with more people to further develop and confirm the test’s potential as a screening method for cancer.

Read more in Technology News Cancer Research here