Simple Blood Test could Diagnose Cancer

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, announced they have developed an examination to diagnose cancer. This simple blood test would not only diagnose cancer but would also reveal how advanced the cancer is.

The test is capable of assessing levels of tumor DNA in a person's blood stream and through it doctors will be able to know the size of the tumors. They will also get to know how tumor is reacting to treatment.

Dr. Maximilian Diehn, Professor of radiation oncology, said, "We set out to develop a method that overcomes two major hurdles in the circulating tumor DNA field". The research team said the test will prove quite beneficial in the treatment of cancers like breast, lung and prostate cancer.

As per Diehn, the test will be able to use among healthy and at-risk patients for detecting signs of cancer. The test will also be able to reveal about different types of cancers building a type of resistance to treatments provided by physicians. This revelation will allow doctors to change the treatment.

Diehn is of the belief that if evolution of the tumor can be known and also if the appearance of treatment-resistant subclones gets seen, there is a chance to switch or add therapies to target those cells.

Dr. Ash Alizadeh said their aim is to come up with a general to detect as well as measure disease burden. With the help of the tests that monitor circulating tumor DNA, they are actually trying to transfer solid tumors into liquid tumors that are easy to detect as well as more easy to be tracked. The study has been published in the journal Nature Medicine.