Health Team

Blood test could cut down on tests for lung cancer

Posted March 11, 2013 5:08 p.m. EDT
Updated March 11, 2013 6:20 p.m. EDT

— Routine chest X-rays often end up with patients getting more tests for the possibility of lung cancer.

Those tests can be invasive and are often unnecessary.

Duke University medical researchers now believe a simple blood test might be able to determine which patients are at higher risk of lung cancer.

According to a recent study, they found that certain biomarkers in blood help identify tumor malignancies.

"What we found is that we're approximately 80 to 85 percent sensitive and specific," said Dr. Edward Patz Jr., who led the study.

Patz says the biomarker test, which will be marketed by LabCorp, will hopefully decrease the number of CT scans, biopsies and unnecessary surgeries that patients go through only to find that their tumors are benign.