This week we’ve received one of the best cancer news in a while, the new blood test that predicts Alzheimer’s disease and dementia has been discovered and it’s giving us new hope in the field of degenerative brain diseases. This week, we’ve got one more great news about non-invasive cancer screening and prognosis: DNA shed by tumors could lead to non-invasive procedures that could detect or treat different types of cancer.
Tumors shed DNA into the blood and certain fragments of that DNA can be used to screen early-stage cancers and monitor their response to treatment. This could help explain why some types of cancer are more resistant to some therapies than others.
Non-Invasive Cancer Screening and Prognosis – Tumor DNA
A study conducted by international researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have analyzed blood from almost 700 patients with cancers, using a technology based on a polymerase chain-reaction to see how the fragments of the DNA release by the tumors acted in the blood.
The fragments of the DNA (also known as cell-free circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA) was detected in more than 75% of patient’s blood with advanced stage cancers and in half of the patients with smaller and localized tumors which had not spread outside the organ in which the cancer originated. One other exciting finding is that the test also picked up the DNA shed by tumors whose cells had mutated, which means that it could be a great and effective non-invasive cancer screening and prognosis tool.
The study, published last month in the Journal Science Translational Medicine concluded that ctDNA could be used as a test of personalized biomarker, a non-invasive cancer screening and prognosis tool.
The team said that the key to the successful eradication of cancer was treating it when it’s localized and this discovery that will allow to detect cancer at a very early stage, will do just that, help cure the cancer in the earliest of stages.
What are your thoughts on the matter? How long do you think it’s going to be before such a test is available to the public?