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Biotech Innovations
December 10, 2019

Brain Cancer Triage Test Advances

JAMA. 2019;322(22):2161. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.19882

Primary care physicians may one day have a quick and effective tool to triage patients with suspected brain cancer before sending them for costly, time-consuming scans. A newly developed version of a blood test had 83.3% sensitivity and 87% specificity for differentiating patients with and without brain cancer, according to interim results from an ongoing prospective study.

The test, described in Nature Communications, builds on attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, a technique that shines infrared light onto biological samples like blood serum in a slide. The method produces a readout of molecule-specific vibrations that machine learning algorithms can then analyze for disease signals.