'Now, as the NHS marks its 70th anniversary, we stand on the cusp of a new era of personalised medicine that will dramatically transform care for cancer and for inherited and rare diseases.
A trial of about 1600 people found the non-invasive procedure to identify DNA markers works with up to 90 per cent accuracy, the authors say.
More than 360,000 people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with cancer each year, meaning that one person is told they have the disease every two minutes. "We hope this test could save many lives". While it detected ovarian cancer with 90 percent success rate, for example, only 10 instances of this type of cancer were detected throughout the testing period.
The test also detected pancreatic cancer with 80 percent accuracy, hepatobiliary cancer (cancer of the liver, bile duct or gallbladder) with 80 percent accuracy, lymphoma with 77 percent accuracy, multiple myeloma (a cancer of white blood cells) with 73 percent accuracy and colorectal cancer with 66 percent accuracy.
Dr Eric Klein, lead author, from the Cleveland Clinic in OH, told the Daily Telegraph: "This is potentially the holy grail of cancer research, to find cancers that are now hard to cure at an earlier stage when they are easier to cure, and we hope this test could save many lives". The biopsy was reportedly most effective in detecting pancreatic, ovarian, liver, and gallbladder cancers, which are much more hard to treat if not diagnosed early.
The findings, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, were based on a sample of 127 lung cancer patients and 580 healthy people. The tests, once complete, are expected to produce results for patients within two weeks of taking them.
It has been labelled "the holy grail" of cancer research and could lead to doctors being able to offer universal screening.
Professor Nicholas Turner, from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, described the findings as "really exciting" and could be used for "universal screening". "Far too many cancers are picked up too late, when it is no longer possible to operate and the chances of survival are slim", he said.
Most cancers are detected at advanced stages when treatment is more complicated and cure rates are low, the conference abstract states.
One of the tests, which used sequencing to detect non-hereditary mutations, performed the best.
Currently, for cancer, there is just one blood test available to diagnose people before they find a lump or initial symptom.