Reoccurring Breast Cancer Caught Early on by Blood Tests

There is a new blood test that is able to detect reoccurring breast cancer an entire year earlier than the current blood tests. The reporter on this new blood test, Daniel Raftery, Ph.D., mentions that within ten years, the 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States experience a 1-in-5 chance that cancer might reappear.  Raftery explains how a group of nine biomarkers have been identified with signals of recurrence of breast cancer.  Raftery also goes on to say how

Our markers detect twice as many recurrences as the CA marker does at the same specificity. They also detect cancer recurrence earlier, about 11-12 months sooner than existing tests. They accomplish this with blood samples, rather than biopsies, with less discomfort to patients.”

In order to discover the markers, Raftery and his colleagues at Purdue University and Matrix-Bio Inc., a company Raftery has founded, studied several hundreds of “metabolites” in the blood tests of the breast cancer survivors.  These metabolites are “small molecules, biological byproducts formed as body’s cells go about the business in life.”   Furthermore, within their research, they are studying how metabolites relate to one’s health, more particularly, possible diseases.  A lot of connections have been made between the metabolites and diseases.  With this, several of Raftery’s biomarkers were seen to be involved with cancer.  Within the process, Raftery describes how the biomarkers are going to be used with the results from CA 27.29 blood tests.  This combination is used in order to find any lingering or returning cancerous tumors.  Raftery is crossing his fingers in hopes of having the test for availability later this year.  And in order to end on an even greater note, researchers are currently conducting another study with the blood tests in order to eventually spot an early existence of breast cancer, not just its return.


Thomas Jefferson University (2012, April 3). Eliminating the ‘good cholesterol’ receptor may fight breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 10, 2012, from


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