One of the most convincing approaches to reduce cancer-specific morbimortality is early detection. One of the tests used for this is the liquid biopsy done in blood test. It is the detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), which has several functions such as diagnosis, prognosis and predictive.
A large study by the Johns Hopkins group presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2020 aimed to explore the ability of the Cancer Seek test in early tumor detection. The test extracts circulating DNA from a blood sample and looks for mutations in 16 genes known to drive the growth of various types of cancer by combining with information from protein biomarkers. That study included more than 10,000 women between 65 and 75 years of age. If a woman’s test was positive, a second test was performed to confirm the initial discovery and rule out molecular changes in the blood. If the result was positive again, a full body image was performed, preferably by PET-CT.
The result indicated that the combination of the imaging exam with Cancer SEEK and the liquid biopsy for screening is very specific in the detection of cancer, almost 100%, but the sensitivity is very low, failing to answer several questions.