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A Simple Blood Test May Help Detect Cancer and Monitor Treatment Progress

The NY Times reports a study published in The Lancet Oncology which found that conducting a “liquid biopsy” can possibly detect bits of cancer DNA in a patients blood, potentially providing a quick way of determining the efficacy of a treatment, and allowing for quick change if a patient develops treatment resistance. Additionally, changes in the blood can be seen long before the tumor would be noticeably smaller in a CT scan. After researchers discovered years ago that fetuses shed DNA into the bloodstream of their mothers, they realized that all growing cells, including tumors, shed DNA fragments as well. This blood test provides an opportunity for constant monitoring of a tumor without conducting frequent biopsies, and in the future, possibly early diagnosis of cancer, allowing for more effective treatment.

Read the article published by The NY Times.

Read the study published in The Lancet Oncology.