Researchers have completed a phase II study comparing a set of DNA markers to alpha fetoprotein as a method to test for liver cancer.

"We currently test for liver cancer using ultrasound and a blood protein marker called alpha fetoprotein," says John Kisiel, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic. "Unfortunately, these tests are not very sensitive for curable stage liver cancers, and most patients who need this testing do not have it easily available or [are] not able to receive it often enough to be effective."

A joint team of researchers from Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences Corporation presented their findings from the Phase II study today at the 2018 Digestive Disease Week conference in Washington, USA. In the study, the markers used by the team were able to detect more than 90 percent of patients with curable stage tumors.