Doctors could pick up signs of a brain tumour earlier thanks to a new blood test.
The tumours often produce ambiguous symptoms, such as headaches or memory problems, and a scan had been the only reliable way to spot them.
Now a blood test can detect chemical clues shed by brain tumours into the blood, making diagnosis quicker and more efficient. Researchers said the same technique has the potential to be adapted to other types of cancer.
In tests, they were able to correctly identify more than four in five brain tumours.
Doctors could pick up signs of a brain tumour earlier thanks to a new blood test (stock image)
Dr Matthew Baker of the University of Strathclyde worked on the study and said: ‘These results are extremely promising because they suggest that our technique can accurately spot who is most likely to have a brain tumour and who probably does not.
‘Because the technique requires just a small blood sample, if offers the potential to test a large number of people with suspicious symptoms.’
The next step will be to try out the test with 600 more patients referred for a brain scan via a GP or casualty unit.