Key points from article :
A blood test can pick up cancers up to four years before symptoms appear.
Called PanSeer, detects cancer in 95% of individuals without symptoms but later receive a diagnosis.
Based on screening particular regions of DNA found in blood plasma for tags or methyl groups.
Machine learning algorithm used to verify if the DNA found in the blood was shed by tumours.
95% of participants who were not diagnosed with cancer but later went on to develop the disease.
The test correctly identified those without cancer 96% of the time.
One limitation is that is cannot identify which type of cancer the person has.
“The PanSeer test has achieved encouraging initial results."
Test may be able to detect cancer in blood samples taken years before diagnosis.
"But these are early results that now need to be validated in larger studies."
Researchers from China, published in Nature Communications.