New early cancer tests developed by DCU doc
A breakthrough for the early detection of bowel cancer has been made by a doctor at Dublin City University.
The advance includes a blood test to diagnose bowel cancer much earlier and the discovery of biomarkers that show how the cancer stays alive and could help combat poor survival for some patients.
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland, but early diagnosis greatly improves the survival rate.
The breakthrough was made by Irish Cancer Society research fellow Dr Gregor Kijanka of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU.
The society described the research as "a major step forward in our understanding of bowel cancer and of survival from this disease".
Dr Sinead Walsh, acting head of research at the society, said: "We are very excited by the results of this research as it will help us move another step forward in our strategy towards a future without cancer.
"The availability of a simple blood test for bowel cancer has the potential to build on and greatly improve current early detection methods such as the current National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, Bowelscreen."
The blood test, coupled with being able to personalise treatments for patients, "will contribute to better outcomes for people with bowel cancer", Dr Walsh added.