Third Rock-backed startup’s blood test can sniff out cancer in patients with no history of disease

The myriad of liquid biopsy companies working on blood tests for early cancer detection have been conducting retrospective studies, looking at how effective and sensitive their technology is in spotting cancer in patients that have already been diagnosed. Now, a Third Rock Ventures-backed startup has also shown its blood test can perform in a large prospective study involving patients with no personal history of cancer.

The company, aptly named Thrive Earlier Detection, is betting on CancerSEEK ? its blood test-in-development designed to sniff out a wide variety of cancer types by interrogating genomic mutations in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as well as protein markers in plasma that have been implicated in cancer.

The trial ? christened DETECT-A ? evaluated the blood test in more than 9,900 women aged 65 to 75 with no evidence or history of cancer.

CancerSEEK is engineered to not only be powered to identify the presence of relatively early cancer, but it uses