Scientists have developed a simple blood test that can detect cancer, and where it is in the body, before symptoms emerge. The non-invasive test could be included in annual health check-ups, researchers said, improving early detection of the disease and potentially increasing survival rates. 

A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles created the technology, which they dubbed CancerLocator. The test analyzes free-floating DNA in blood samples and can tell if the DNA is from a tumor, and if it is, what kind of tissue the tumor originated from — breast, liver or lung. The research was published Friday in Genome Biology.

One of the research team’s leaders told the Independent the test could be available within a year.

“It depends on training data, testing and machine learning,” Jasmine Zhou, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at UCLA, told the Independent. “With enlarged training and testing data we are confident to achieve much higher performance.”

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