World-First Blood Test for Brain Cancer Could Revolutionize Testing and Treatment, Increasing Survival Rates, Experts Say

By Trisha Andrada

Jan 26, 2024 07:55 AM EST

A team of researchers has developed a "breakthrough" world-first blood test for brain cancer, which British experts said could revolutionize the detection and treatment of the disease and increase survival rates.

According to the Independent, the experts noted that this simple blood test has the potential to lessen the need for invasive and dangerous surgeries to diagnose certain brain tumors. They added that this test could help in detecting even the deadliest forms of brain cancer.

(Photo : cottonbro studio / Pexels)

How the Trinetra-Glio Blood Test for Brain Cancer Works

The experts have hailed the development of the TriNetra-Glio blood test, which Datar Cancer Genetics funded. They said the test is affordable and easy to introduce to health facilities.

According to The Guardian, researchers at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence run by Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have conducted the first studies to determine if the blood test can accurately diagnose glial tumors, including astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and glioblastoma (GBM), the most commonly diagnosed type of high-grade brain tumor in adults.

The clinical validation study, published recently in the International Journal of Cancer, involved brain cancer patients treated at the Brain Tumour Research Centre. The researchers found that the simple blood test had "high analytical sensitivity, specificity, and precision." 

The blood test reportedly works by isolating tumor cells that have broken out from the tumor in the blood. The separated cells are then stained for identification under a microscope. The researchers said patients with "inaccessible" brain tumors would benefit from the test as they can immediately start treatment.

The research team already plans to conduct further studies to validate the results. They estimate that patients could benefit from the test in as little as two years if successful.

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Blood Test For Brain Cancer Hailed by British Researchers

Dr. Nelofer Syed, the head of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence, said: "A non-invasive, inexpensive method for the early detection of brain tumors is critical for improvements in patient care."

"Through this technology, a diagnosis of inaccessible tumors can become possible through a risk-free and patient-friendly blood test. We believe this would be a world first as there are currently no non-invasive or non-radiological tests for these types of tumours," he added.

Kevin O'Neill, Centre's co-lead and consultant neurosurgeon at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust and honorary clinical senior lecturer at Imperial's Department of Brain Sciences, said: "This could help speed up diagnosis, enabling surgeons to apply tailored treatments based on that biopsy to increase patients' chances of survival."

He noted that this test is not just an indicator of disease but a "truly diagnostic liquid biopsy" that detects intact circulating tumor cells from the blood, which can be analyzed to the same cellular detail as an actual tissue sample." 

The study has reportedly attracted the attention of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), responsible for advancing public health.

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