Unlike prolonged tests like mammography is carried out now to ascertain breast cancer or even to keep a tab on its possibility, a new study has found that a particular blood test can predict whether a woman gets breast cancer in 2 to 5 years from now or not.
The new metabolic blood profile can predict the likelihood of a breast cancer with a sensitivity of 80 percent, compared to 75% of the sensitivity in a mammography test, the study said.
“The method is better than mammography, which can only be used when the disease has already occurred,” said Prof Rasmus Bro of chemometrics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
For the research, of 57,000 people were observed by the Danish Cancer Society for two decades and the researchers analysed all compounds a blood sample contains unlike the usual practice of researchers to look for just a single biomarker to detect a specific disease.
“When a huge amount of relevant measurements from many individuals is used to assess health risks – here breast cancer – it creates very high quality information. The more measurements our analyses contain, the better the model handles complex problems,” said Prof Bro.
The new model does not reveal in terms of the single biomarker in relation to breast cancer, but it does reveal the importance of a set of biomarkers and their interactions, said the researchers.
“No single part of the pattern is actually necessary nor sufficient. It is the whole pattern that predicts the cancer,” said another researcher Lars Ove Dragsted from the University of Copenhagen.
The study has been published in the journal Metabolomics.