The number of cancer patients is increasing every year around the world. The researchers at Cambridge University developed a highly sensitive diagnostic blood test for cancer patients. This test can tell if the patients are relapsing after treatment.
This test is better than the previous technology in terms of 10 times higher sensitivity. The mechanism of this blood test for cancer is based on the genetic testing system. It considers the specific genetic makeup of the patient. The cancer cells release mutated tumor DNA into the bloodstream. This test detects the mutated DNA in the blood sample.
The study was published by the team in the scientific journal “Science Translational Medicine”.
The newly developed test is extremely sensitive. Scientists were able to detect a single mutated DNA within a pool of millions of other DNA molecules. It is an accurate test to detect if the patients will develop the disease again after getting treatment.
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Nitzan Rosenfeld led the research team to develop this test at Cambridge University. He is the research group leader at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. He said that is a personalized blood test for cancer is currently in the clinical trials. It can detect the presence of cancer cells in the body. Also, it can detect if the body developing cancer gain after treatment.
The test will be available in the market after a few years of trials. It is currently an experimental test but this technology is developing rapidly. The test will be extremely useful for cancer patients in the coming future. Due to its high sensitivity, it is reliable and easy to use.
Liquid biopsy is a method that can detect the presence of mutant DNA molecules in the blood. These DNA molecules release into the blood by tumor cancer cells. The cancer patients are monitored after treatment. This shows if the patients recovered from cancer completely or if it can develop again in the body.
This technique is only applicable if the patient’s blood consists of a high load of mutant DNA. If it is present in low quantity, this method can not detect it. Hence, it will give a false negative result even though the patient still has tumor cells.
The research shows that biopsy can become highly sensitive by targeting personalized genetic makeup. The new technique analyses the specific patient’s tumor DNA. It also detects the personalized mutant DNA in the blood. Hence, it is 10 times more sensitive than previous techniques.
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The new biopsy technique is more successful due to its sensitivity. Previously, the liquid biopsy technique detected not more than 100 mutations of DNA. The latest technique, however, searches up to a thousand DNA mutations in the blood which makes it more accurate.
This blood test for cancer uses a pinprick sample of blood. Therefore, the required blood is minimum. The patients also do not need to travel to a hospital to get tested. They can send their blood sample to a nearby laboratory or even do the test at home. Hence, they can do this test more frequently.