The new test is a way to combat the limitations of the current method. With the current method of diagnosis, around 1 in 5 tests cannot confirm whether thyroid cancer is present. When these tests come back as inconclusive, doctors typically conduct a genetic test, but even these can result in false positives, meaning they show the cancer is present when in actuality, it isn't.
Researchers conducted a pilot study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The research compared molecular profiles from tissues of 178 people with or without thyroid cancer in order to develop a fingerprint of the cancer. They then tested its accuracy in a pilot trial involving 68 people who had undergone the traditional method for thyroid cancer testing.