Blood Proteins Reveals Cancer Signs 7 Years Pre-Diagnosis

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Cancer research, crucial in health science, unveils through Cancer Research UK-funded studies that blood proteins can predict cancer over seven years prior to diagnosis.

Researchers have identified 618 proteins related to 19 types of cancer, with 107 proteins found in blood samples taken at least seven years before diagnosis. These proteins may indicate early-stage cancer, offering potential for more effective treatment through early detection.

Proteins found in blood could indicate onset of cancer

The importance of understanding early stages of cancer is emphasized by Dr. Karl Smith-Byrne, a Senior Molecular Epidemiologist at Oxford Population Health. He highlights the promising findings from data analysis of numerous cancer patients, particularly regarding the impact of blood proteins on cancer risk. Further research is necessary to identify specific proteins that could be utilized for cancer prevention.

Researchers conducted a study published in Nature Communications, examining blood samples from 44,000 individuals, including over 4,900 diagnosed with cancer, from the UK Biobank. Utilizing proteomics, they analyzed 1,463 proteins from each sample, enabling large-scale protein studies. By comparing the proteins of cancer patients and non-patients, they identified 182 proteins that differed in blood composition three years before cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Joshua Atkins, Senior Genomic Epidemiologist at Oxford Population Health, highlights the significant role of genes and proteins in cancer development and growth. He acknowledges the contribution of thousands of participants in UK BioBank, which is enhancing our understanding of genetic influences on cancer over time.

Early detection is important in preventing cancer

Researchers examined genetic data from 300,000 cancer cases to identify blood proteins linked to cancer formation, targeting potential treatments. Around 40 proteins impacted the risk of nine cancer types and research is needed to determine their precise role in cancer development.

Dr. Iain Foulkes, Executive Director at Cancer Research UK, emphasizes the importance of early cancer detection through meticulous research on molecular signals. These findings pave the way for preventative therapies, promising longer, healthier lives devoid of cancer anxiety. Early detection is pivotal in offering effective interventions, marking the first stride towards cancer-free futures.

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