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Phoenix company developing test for early lung cancer detection

PHOENIX — Doctors may soon be able to prescribe a blood test that could give lung cancer patients some new hope.

Phoenix-based Global Cancer Diagnostics is in the final testing stage of a new blood test that it says will give the patients a fighting chance.

“We analyze the blood for certain protein biomarkers that are known to be related to cancer and, specifically, lung cancer,” said company CEO Will Gartner. “Those circulate in the blood much earlier than x-rays can detect a growing nodule of cancer.”

It’s called the Lung Cancer Test for Early Detection and will cost patients $99. Gartner said the company is holding costs down by not accepting insurance as payment. He said that would require much more paperwork.

Gartner believes the test will catch lung cancer in its first two stages, which will save lives.

“The survival rates are between 10 and 20 percent in five years if you are diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 lung cancer,” he explained.

Gartner said the survival rate is over 80 percent if the cancer is caught in the first or second stages.

Patients in 26 states will be able to buy the test over the Internet. An insulated box will then be mailed to them, in which they can ship their blood to Phoenix for testing.

Arizona is not one of those 26 states, however. Here, a patient will need a doctor’s prescription to get the test.

Gartner said the test should be available for sale in about eight weeks.