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New blood tests may transform cancer care

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Marilyn Marchione writes at Newser,

…A new type of blood test is starting to transform cancer treatment, sparing some patients the surgical and needle biopsies long needed to guide their care.

The tests, called liquid biopsies, capture cancer cells or DNA that tumors shed into the blood, instead of taking tissue from the tumor itself.

They give the first noninvasive way to repeatedly sample a cancer so doctors can profile its genes, target drugs to mutations, tell quickly whether treatment is working, and adjust it as the cancer evolves.

…In Philadelphia, a liquid biopsy detected Carole Linderman’s breast cancer recurrence months before it normally would have been found.

“Had this test not been available, we may not have known I had cancer on my spine until symptoms showed up,” which may have been too late for good treatment, she said.

…”I’m really excited about all of this,” said Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, a University of California, San Diego cancer specialist. “I spent most of my life giving drugs that were useless to people” because there was no good way to tell who would benefit or quickly tell when one wasn’t working, she said. “This is so much better.”

Read more here.



Source: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2015/05/new-blood-tests-may-transform-cancer.html


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