Simple Bowel Cancer Test Spots Deadliest Tumors

British scientists say a simple bowel cancer test could save thousands of lives by spotting the deadliest tumors.

They say patients who are most likely to develop a more virulent strain of the disease could be identified by a test which looks for a marker stem cell protein called Lamin A.

Lamin A pinpoints aggressive bowel cancers which need the most treatment and the researchers from Durham University have developed a test which looks for the marker in order to identify which patients need be given chemotherapy in addition to standard surgery to improve survival.

The team now aims to develop a Lamin A-based detection test for use in the health service which could be on the market in five years.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancer and causes 677,000 deaths worldwide each year; almost three quarters of cases occur in people aged 65 and over and it is slightly more common in women than men.

In this age group chemotherapy is often not used as it could cause more harm than benefit in patients who are elderly and frail but for the most aggressive cancers, chemotherapy can be beneficial.

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