Researchers develop breast cancer blood test

Science

A new method for tracking breast cancer has been developed by researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and Scientists at Cancer Research UK.

TARDIS was one of the first to successfully monitor patients with early stage breast cancer, and could one day help doctors to better tailor treatments, and prevent any unnecessary surgeries.

“Researchers develop breast cancer blood test“

The technique works by analysing the tumour DNA, or tiny fragments of DNA from cancer cells in the bloodstream. A personalised treatment plan for each patient could be available for patients, as Doctors will be able to use blood samples to monitor the success of breast cancer treatments.

Researchers analysed 80 blood samples form 33 different women with early stage and locally advanced breast cancer in the first validation study, and were able to identify the Tumour DNA in every patient before they started treatment.

Because of this discovery, a further test was undertaken by taken blood tests from 22 women who had received treatment (including Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and hormone Therapy) before their surgery, and discovered that the concentration of tumour DNA was love for patients that had no breast cancer cells remaining at the point of surgery than those that did.

“This research has shown that TARDIS is able to detect circulating DNA at low concentrations in the blood.” Said Dr Muhammed Murtaza, lead author of the study and co-director of TGen’s Center for Noninvasive Diagnostics. “Up until now blood tests for breast cancer have only been sensitive enough to identify tumour DNA in those that are at an advanced stage, so this will open up the possibility of being able to monito patients with early stage breast cancer and look into how they respond to treatment. “

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