Blood test could detect breast cancer five years before clinical signs

The test, which identifies the body’s immune response to proteins produced by cancer cells, could be available in four years.

A blood test could detect breast cancer up to five years before any clinical signs of the disease, according to researchers.

Cancer cells produce proteins called antigens that trigger the body to make antibodies against them: autoantibodies.Sponsored link

Researchers at the University of Nottingham say they are developing a test that identifies the body’s immune response to tumour-associated antigens (TAAs), as they are a good indicator of cancer.

They developed panels of TAAs associated with breast cancer to detect whether there are autoantibodies against them in blood samples taken from patients.

The scientists found autoantibodies against a number of TAAs could be detected up to five years before any clinical signs of the tumour.