New Research on Cancer Blood Test Reveals More Effective, Less Invasive Method than Tumor Biopsy


Researchers at UC Davis presented a new finding that would  improve the way doctors help cancer patients. Using blood tests, the study reveals the effectiveness of blood samples in detecting DNA mutations.  

A study on 15,000 patients with 50 tumor types

Monitoring cancer genes were used to be done with tissue biopsies which can be invasive at times. Thus, the research took blood samples from 15,000 patients with 50 tumor types and looked over 70 cancer-gene mutations.

Blood test collects sample without the need to perform surgical tumor biopsies

Currently, tumor biopsies can make a definite diagnosis by collecting tissue sample for further examination. However, the procedure is often invasive, Cancer.Net podcast reported.

By using a simple blood test in collecting the sample and analyze the cancer DNAs, the progress and result are monitored via bloodstream. It enables researchers to monitor cancer evolvements overtime which also enables doctors to determine proper treatment for controlling the tumor in patients.

With this finding, doctors may be able to conduct tests on cancer patients without the need to involve surgical tumor biopsy. Describing the analysis as 'liquid biopsy', the method is highly informative, less invasive and much safer, Nature World News reported.  

Liquid biopsy helps experts to prescribe better treatment sooner and more precise

Using the blood samples, a doctor can monitor changes in cancer genes before the tumor even grows. And since tumor biopsy only takes small part of the tissue, the liquid biopsy is able to provide doctors with more information on the DNA changes. It is the molecules in patient's blood that will help early detection of any genetic change.

The blood test will be able to monitor various aspects from recurrence risk, treatment response, and any progress found on the disease. In patients where tissues cannot be obtained, liquid biopsy will give more insights. Guardant Health CEO, Helmy Eltoukhy is confident that albeit a few limitations at the moment, there will be a shift from solid to liquid biopsy in the future, Business Insider reported.

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