Blood Breakthrough Could Spare Brain Cancer Patients Risky Surgery

Brain Cancer Treatment Concept Art

A new technique for detecting glial tumors, including glioblastoma, through a non-invasive blood test, has been validated in a study at Imperial College London. This innovation promises to improve early detection, personalize treatment, and increase survival rates for brain tumor patients by reducing the need for risky surgical biopsies.

A simple blood test could help diagnose patients with the deadliest form of brain cancer, sparing them from undergoing invasive, highly risky surgery.

In a world-first, the new technique has been proven for glial tumors including glioblastoma (GBM), the most commonly diagnosed type of high-grade brain tumor in adults.

The clinical validation study, published recently in the International Journal of Cancer, involved patients with brain cancer treated at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence run by Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Nelofer Syed

Dr. Nelofer Syed. Credit: Imperial College London

Innovations in Early Detection

Imperial’s Dr. Nelofer Syed (Department of Brain Sciences), who leads the Center, said: “A non-invasive, inexpensive method for the early detection of brain tumors is critical for improvements in patient care.

“Through this technology, a diagnosis of inaccessible tumors can become possible through a risk-free and patient-friendly blood test. We believe this would be a world-first as there are currently no non-invasive or non-radiological tests for these types of tumors.”

Kevin O’Neill, consultant neurosurgeon at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust and honorary clinical senior lecturer at Imperial’s Department of Brain Sciences, co-leads the Center.

He added: “This could help speed up diagnosis, enabling surgeons to apply tailored treatments based on that biopsy to increase patients’ chances of survival. I’m very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this study, especially the patients involved.”

Kevin O’Neill

Mr. Kevin O’Neill. Credit: Imperial College London

Reducing Risky Biopsies

Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and there is a pressing need for earlier diagnosis and better treatment options.

The TriNetra-Glio blood test works by isolating tumor cells that have broken free from the tumor circulating in the blood. The isolated cells are then stained and can be identified under a microscope.

Mr. O’Neill said: “This test is not just an indicator of disease, it is a truly diagnostic liquid biopsy. It detects intact circulating tumor cells from the blood, which can be analyzed to the same cellular detail as an actual tissue sample.”

“This groundbreaking research could lead to earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes for brain tumour patients.” — Dan Knowles, CEO of Brain Tumour Research

The test could make a huge difference to patients with suspected high-grade gliomas, including GBM, astrocytomas, and oligodendrogliomas, leading to earlier diagnosis of their tumor type, speedier treatment, and potentially increasing survival rates. It could also eliminate the need for surgical biopsies which carry significant risk, particularly for those with underlying health conditions

The work, funded by Datar Cancer Genetics, has already attracted the attention of the body responsible for advancing public health in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hopes are now of a larger study here in the UK which, if successful, could mean patients with suspected high-grade tumours benefit from this breakthrough in as little as two years.

Overcoming Diagnostic Delays

GBM patient Steve Ackroyd, a TV editor from Palmers Green, North London, was initially misdiagnosed with and treated for epilepsy, with his brain tumor diagnosis coming three months later, in August 2022. The 47-year-old, who has a 12-year-old daughter, had a biopsy followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy and is currently undergoing immunotherapy treatment in Germany which could cost as much as £300,000, financed through a crowdfunding page set up by his wife Francesca.

Steve Ackroyd

Steve Ackroyd with wife Fran and daughter Autumn. Credit: Imperial College London

She said: “In Steve’s case he went through a surgical biopsy to determine his tumor type, and we also found out that its diffuse nature meant it was inoperable. We waited seven weeks for the results only to find out that the tissue was later deemed to be a ‘poor sample.’ Unfortunately, all the delays cost us precious time when he could have been on treatment.”

Dan Knowles, CEO of Brain Tumour Research, said: “This groundbreaking research could lead to earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes for brain tumor patients. There is an urgent need for novel approaches, particularly in the treatment of GBM, which is fatal in most cases. Brain tumors kill more people in the UK under the age of 40 than any other cancer and we have to find a cure for this devastating disease.”

Reference: “Profiling of circulating glial cells for accurate blood-based diagnosis of glial malignancies” by Kevin O’Neill, Nelofer Syed, Timothy Crook, Sudhir Dubey, Mahadev Potharaju, Sewanti Limaye, Anantbhushan Ranade, Giulio Anichini, Darshana Patil, Vineet Datta and Rajan Datar, 26 December 2023, International Journal of Cancer.
DOI: 10.1002/ijc.34827

1 Comment on "Blood Breakthrough Could Spare Brain Cancer Patients Risky Surgery"

  1. doctor mehrdad kesiri1 | February 1, 2024 at 6:24 am | Reply

    Hello and welcome to the doctors and specialists of the Imperial College and the researchers of this college.I must inform you of an important point about brain tumors.Brain tumors are divided into several categories.The first category is genetic factors.They are influential.The third group are those who are influenced by spiritual factors.Oxygen in the air is divided into dozens of parts.Mammals that are buried in the ground will influence the soil.We feed on the soil.There are spirits of different creatures, they were institutionalized in the earth’s oxygen over billions of years.If it were not for this, the trees would not bear fruit.Genie has two alphabets, Genie and Madness, but there are no two alphabets for Genie in English.I mean that when I translate from Persian to English.The text that I am sending to you, the elders of medical science, I can no longer give the example that the two alphabets of Jinn in Jenin, Madness, War and Crime, Gendah, South, etc. It doesn’t exist in allthe words that I sent and they were of the genie family that I sent you Latin speakers just a few words ago, but in Farsi there are two genie alphabets in these words.Pay attention.I typed for you the word that contains genie, but are there two letters of genie in the eight words that I just typed?Well, it is known that it exists in Farsi, but when you use Latin in your language, which is English, you don’t have the word genie in the eight words that I typed.I already talked about this on this site.In order to understand what I mean, in general, jinn exist in madness, war, crime, and paradise, which is heaven, and there is heaven that is on earth, heaven is not anywhere else, heaven and hell are on earth, jinnare involved in diseases and in some Brain tumors play a role.I am most knowledgeable about jinn and jinn, the structure of matter and various elements, the structure of atoms, astronomy, geology, Gitaology, dentistry, general surgery, knowledge of religions, contemporary writers and poets, but now about history and nature.God, Lord, God, I am researching and I am researching about God, God, Lord, Gad, and God with humans, who determined the names of continents, seas, countries, cities, etc., that it is related to the earthand the relationship between the shape of these subjects that I am researching the names of continents, seas, and countries and the relationship between their shapes that I mentioned, that all that I said is related to the history of humans on earth, which are relatedto the stories of humans tens of millions of years ago who lived on earth.It has the shape of the continents and….. in the names of the continents and…. This topic will be so interesting and very important.We cannot convey our meaning because the translation does not spoil everything, but it spoils some words

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