Imperial research breakthrough could spare brain cancer patients risky surgery

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 tumours including glioblastoma (GBM), the most commonly-diagnosed type of high-grade brain tumour 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.

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

“Through this technology, a diagnosis of inaccessible tumours 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 tumours.”