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Blood test spots early-stage cancer DNA

A blood test that detects DNA fragments released by malignant tumors accurately diagnosed 71% of early-stage colon cancers, 68% of early-stage ovarian cancers and 59% of early-stage breast and lung cancers in 200 patients previously diagnosed with cancer; and yielded no false positives in 44 cancer-free volunteers, researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine. More work on the assay is needed, but the ability to diagnose cancer at very early stages could save lives, says lead researcher Victor Velculescu.

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