Dr. David Wishart, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, is developing a liquid biopsy able to detect lung cancer-specific chemicals in patients. (Canadian Cancer Society)

Dr. David Wishart, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, is developing a liquid biopsy able to detect lung cancer-specific chemicals in patients. (Canadian Cancer Society)

Canadian researchers developing blood test to detect lung cancer early and save lives

‘If lung cancer is detected early then treatment outcomes improve enormously,’ says Dr. David Wishart

Detecting the early stages of lung cancer could soon be as simple as a blood test.

That’s because researchers – led by Dr. David Wishart and funded by the Canadian Cancer Society – are developing a liquid biopsy able to detect lung cancer-specific chemicals in patients.

“Currently those with lung cancer are most often diagnosed in the later stages, usually stage 3 or 4, when treatment outcomes are poor,” Wishart said.

“If lung cancer is detected early then treatment outcomes improve enormously.”

If successful, the project could save lives. In Canada, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death and the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease.

READ MORE: New COVID-19 testing machine takes load off B.C.’s virologists and labs (VIDEO)

Approximately half of all lung cancer cases are likely to be diagnosed at stage 4 when the patient’s 3-year survival rate is as low as five per cent. If detected at stage 1, survival rates rise 66 per cent.

Current methods for lung cancer screening are expensive and not always accessible, Wishart stressed.

“We are coming up with a whole variety of novel, cheap and easy ways to detect early-stage cancer using only metabolites found in blood or urine,” he said.

The project is one of 27 funded by Spark Grants, a joint $4-million research initiative from the Canadian Cancer Society and its partners.

READ MORE: B.C. researchers generating COVID-19 breath test that could give results in 1 minute



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Canadian Cancer SocietyCancer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food trucks will be allowed to operate in several Sooke parks beginning May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke’s food truck pilot project under scrutiny

Councillor questions impact food trucks will have on nearby restaurants

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Claremont Secondary’s year-long drama class will perform TRAP, a thrilling play by Stephen Gregg, virtually from April 14-17 at 7 p.m. (Image courtesy Colin Plant)
Claremont’s drama students to ‘TRAP’ audience’s attention with thrilling virtual performances

Grade 9-12 drama class will perform via livestream from April 14-17

Eli, left, Brent, Lindsay and Ava Wilson. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wilson)
West Shore families share experience in raising a child with autism

Two families reveal some parallels, but circumstances are different for everyone

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Most Read