Quick and Simple Blood Test to Detect Cancer

Quick and Simple Blood Test to Detect Cancer

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have done a tremendous job by developing a test which can quickly diagnose type and size of cancer in patients. The simple blood test can prove beneficial in detecting the impact of medication on tumor as well and how it has evolved over time.

Currently, tests to diagnose cancer in patients involves monitoring levels of tumor DNA circulating in the blood, which is time consuming and inefficient too in many cases. Such techniques need to be very sensitive to detect very small amounts of tumor DNA present in the blood. Also, the tests to diagnose cancer should work off the shelf for majority of patients with a given cancer type.

Generally, cancer cells divide and die with continuous release of DNA into the bloodstream, so the new blood test could prove effective in screening cancer in blood cells. Dr. Maximilian Diehn, Assistant Prof. of radiation oncology, said the new blood tests works in early diagnosing the disease and also the healthy or at-risk patients for signs of the illness.

Although the research has been conducted on patients with small-cell lung cancer, the test is beneficial in detecting other blood, lung and prostate cancer as well. Dr. Ash Alizadeh, Assistant Prof. of medicine, said that development of general method for monitoring circulating tumor DNA helps in transforming solid tumors into liquid tumors.

Early diagnosing of the disease and the treatment-resistant subclones could help doctors to alter therapies to target infected cells. "We could use CAPP-Seq to identify subsets of early stage patients who could benefit most from additional treatment after surgery or radiation, such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy", said Dr. Diehn.

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