Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It is typically diagnosed through one or several of a number of tests that include an X-Ray or CT scan, an examination of sputum (mixture of saliva and mucus), and a biopsy.

Early detection – like with any type of cancer – is key and can dramatically increase survival rates. Improving cancer risk assessments to identify people who run a high risk of developing lung cancer, currently based mainly on age and smoking history, is also crucial and can be driving factor behind early detection.

But even these can miss some cases, according to a new study by a team of Israeli and British scientists, which charges that a simple blood test that relies on a “DNA repair score” proved effective for lung cancer screening.

The study was led by Professor Zvi Livneh and Dr. Tamar Paz-Elizur, both members of the Weizmann Institute Department of Biomolecular Sciences, alongside Professor Sir Bruce Ponder of the University of Cambridge and Professor Robert Rintoul from Royal Papworth Hospital and Cambridge.

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