New Test Helps Detect Lung Cancer
Sep. 22 | as reported in central Iowa
If you could take a simple blood test to help spot the earliest signs of lung cancer, would you?
Well, now you have your chance. A new lung cancer detection test called EarlyCDT-Lung measures a panel of autoantibodies in blood associated with the presence of cancer—thereby aiding doctors in finding the disease even before tumors are visible through CT scans or X-rays, which are sporadically used for lung cancer screening.
For high-risk groups like smokers or ex-smokers—the main target candidates—the potential jump on treatment provided by this lung cancer testing method could substantially increase survival rates.
“The current five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 16 percent,” says Dr. John Robertson, professor of surgery at England’s University of Nottingham and chief scientific officer at Oncimmune, an industry leader in early cancer detection that developed the test. “According to National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute data, if lung cancer is found in Stage I and II, the survival rate more than triples to 53 percent.”
Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, and most cases are now caught in what the American Cancer Society calls too much of “an advanced stage” to improve someone’s odds of being cured. This year alone, the organization predicts an estimated 157,300 will die from the disease, and that about another 222,520 new cases will be diagnosed.
Only physicians can order an EarlyCDT-Lung test for their patients. However, anyone can go online at www.oncimmune.com to request a kit or just see whether one of more of the six stated risk factors apply to them. In addition to smoking, they include:
- Past or present exposure to secondhand smoke for extended periods of time
- Close relatives who’ve had lung cancer
- Prolonged exposure to radon, asbestos, coal products andor radioactive substances
The actual analysis is done at Oncimmune’s CLIA certified lab in De Soto, Kan., with test results reported back to the ordering physician within seven to 10 days after the sample has been received. The test is covered for Medicare Part B patients, and Oncimmune is also submitting claims to private insurance carriers on behalf of patients.
Dr. Robertson says five years of “rigorous testing” preceded EarlyCDT-Lung’s current availability in both the U.S. and Canada. Research affirming its technical, clinical and economic benefits has been laid out before the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and detailed results were published in the peer-reviewed Annals of Oncology journal.
“The test,” says Dr. Robertson, “has been carefully developed and studied for specificity, sensitivity, accuracy, reproducibility and precision.”
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