"The idea of a general, quick and simple blood test for a diverse range of cancers just came closer to reality with news of a new study published in Nature Medicine.
"Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have devised an ultra-sensitive method for finding DNA from cancertumors in the bloodstream.
"Previous research has already shown circulating tumor DNA holds promise as a biomarker for cancer, but existing methods for detecting it are not sufficiently sensitive and do not cover a diverse range of cancers.
"Ways to increase the sensitivity and coverage of such tests exist, but these are cumbersome and time-consuming, and need lots of steps to customize for individual patients, so they are not feasible for use in clinics.
"The new approach promises to change that. It is highly sensitive and specific and should be broadly applicable to a range of cancers, say the researchers."