The new test has been devised by scientists working at the University of Bradford in the U.K. Called the Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity (LGS) test, the new diagnostic method looks at white blood cells and measures the damage caused to their DNA when subjected to different intensities of ultraviolet light (UVA), which is known to damage DNA.
According to Tech Times
, results from several studies showed a clear distinction between the damage to the white blood cells from patients with cancer, with pre-cancerous conditions and when compared with healthy patients.
If commercially successful, the test will save time and prevent costly and invasive procedures such as colonoscopies and biopsies. According to
Professor Diana Anderson, who led the research: "White blood cells are part of the body's natural defence system.
We know that they are under stress when they are fighting cancer or other diseases, so I wondered whether anything measureable could be seen if we put them under further stress with UVA light.We found that people with cancer have DNA which is more easily damaged by ultraviolet light than other people, so the test shows the sensitivity to damage of all the DNA -- the genome -- in a cell."
She went on to say in a research note
: "These are early results completed on three different types of cancer and we accept that more research needs to be done; but these results so far are remarkable," said Professor Anderson. "Whilst the numbers of people we tested are, in epidemiological terms, quite small, in molecular epidemiological terms, the results are powerful. We've identified significant differences between the healthy volunteers, suspected cancer patients and confirmed cancer patients of mixed ages at a statistically significant level of P