There is growing interest in the possibility of using blood tests to detect cancer. If such tests become available, they could transform how we diagnose and look after people with the disease. This offers exciting possibilities, but also many potential pitfalls. Blood tests could be used to screen apparently healthy people for cancer, to decide who should have more tests, or even replace scanning as a means of monitoring the effects of treatment or whether cancer has come back.
In this public talk organised by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Resesearch Centre, Professor Mark Middleton, Director of the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, explains how we are developing these tests and assessing their use in clinical trials. Sue Duncombe, a member of the Oxford Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Group, talks about this development in early cancer detection from a patient perspective.