In DepthDIAGNOSTICS

‘Liquid biopsy’ for cancer promises early detection

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Science  19 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 259
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6373.259

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Summary

A team of researchers has taken a major step toward one of the hottest goals in cancer research: a blood test that can detect tumors early. Their new test, which examines cancer-related DNA and proteins in the blood, yielded a positive result about 70% of the time across eight common cancer types in 1005 patients whose tumors had not yet spread—among the best performances yet for a universal cancer blood test. It also narrowed down the form of cancer. The work, reported online today in Science, could one day lead to a tool for routinely screening people and catching tumors before they cause symptoms, when chances are best for a cure.