A while back I blogged about a ‘liquid biopsy‘ – a blood test that looked for gene mutations to detect if the ‘on’ or off’ ‘methyl’ groups were attached to DNA to make cells go crazy and generate ‘cancer’ cells. Clever I said, but now there is another approach -a ‘next-gen’ approach -that looks for DNA from dead cancer cells circulating in our blood.
Researchers (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) looked at ‘free’ DNA in the blood of patients with over 20 types of cancer and some without a cancer diagnosis. Results were astounding – only 0.6% of the results incorrectly indicated cancer was present. Their test correctly ID’ed the organ or tissue of cancer origin in 89% of cases.
How cool and non-invasive is this? Still in development, but pray it soon hits the mainstream with the medical industry recognizing early detection saves not only money but more importantly lives.