A novel blood testing technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to perform DNA evaluation was able to detect over 90% of lung cancers, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in a study published August 20 in Nature Communications.
Called DNA evaluation of fragments for early interception (DELFI), the test detected 94% of lung cancers in samples from nearly 800 individuals with and without cancer, according to the center.
DELFI spots unique patterns in the fragmentation of DNA shed from cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream. It uses a blood test to indirectly measure the way DNA is packaged inside the nucleus of a cell by studying the size and amount of cell-free DNA present in the circulation from different regions across the genome.
When cancer cells die, they release DNA in a chaotic manner into the bloodstream. Researchers say DELFI helps identify the presence of cancer using machine learning to examine millions of cell-free DNA fragments for abnormal patterns, including the size and amount of DNA in different genomic regions.