'Most cancers are detected at a late stage, but this "liquid biopsy" gives us the opportunity to find them months or years before someone would develop symptoms and be diagnosed'.
Professor Nicolas Turner of the London's Institute of Cancer Research said he was "excited" and the research could reduce diagnosis times.
Scientists in the USA have found a simple test can pick up early signs of cancers including breast, ovarian, bowel and lung cancer.
The test was most accurate for diagnosing pancreatic, ovarian, liver and gallbladder cancers, correctly finding the diseases in at least four out of five patients.
The findings were presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
Takabe noted that although the study included more than 1,600 patients, the number of patients with some types of cancers was quite small - for example, only about 10 patients in the study had ovarian cancer - which is another limitation of the study.
During the experiment, the test examined genetic traces of various types of cancers such as pancreatic, ovarian and breast, as reported in the study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, United States.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Service in England, said: "We stand on the cusp of a new era of personalized medicine that will dramatically transform care for cancer and for inherited and rare diseases".
Between them, these diseases account for more than half of the cancer patients in the country.
Researchers also found that more than half of patients in the study had mutations in their blood that came from white blood cells, and not tumors, requiring them to develop a method to screen those out to prevent false positives. "And, in this case applied to a high risk group to show how effective it would be in detecting cancer at its earliest stage". They have identified a new kind of blood test that can determine the presence of 10 different cancers long before tumors even occur.
"In stage I disease, surgical interventions are most likely to remove all a patient's cancer and result in a cure - this data is no yet available", Abbosh said.
"While there's still a way to go before cell-free DNA from blood can be used for cancer detection on a broad scale, this research serves as a building block for the development of future tests".