Academics at the University of Oxford, England, identified 618 proteins linked to 19 different types of cancer – including 107 proteins in people whose blood was collected at least seven years before they were diagnosed.

The findings suggest that the proteins could be involved in the earliest stages of cancer. "This research brings us closer to being able to prevent cancer with targeted drugs - once thought impossible but now much more attainable", said Dr. Karl Smith-Byrne, a senior molecular epidemiologist at Oxford Population Health, a department of the University of Oxford.