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

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

Fairgrounds to be used as public parking for mass vaccination site at Cloverdale Rec. Centre

Surrey city council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey drugstores seeking relaxation of spacing rules ‘a challenge,’ councillor says

‘Obviously we need pharmacies but it seems to me that we are getting an awful lot of applications,’ Brenda Locke says

News Bulletin file photo
Surrey waives outdoor patio fees for pubs, restaurants

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, praised the move

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media file)
Man charged after pushing pregnant woman to the ground in Surrey, police say

Surrey RCMP say it appeared to be an ‘unprovoked assault’

A sign posted to a tree in Maccaud Park urges people to email White Rock City Council and oppose the construction of pickleball courts in the park. (Contributed photo)
White Rock council deems Maccaud Park pickleball courts out of bounds

Unanimous vote against constructing courts follows public feedback

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Most Read