Tuesday, 6 January 2015
A new method for detecting "cell-free" tumor DNA in the bloodstream
Vanderbilt University researcher William Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues in Germany and Canada have demonstrated a method for detecting "cell-free" tumor DNA in the bloodstream.
Mitchell believes the technique will be transformative in providing improved cancer diagnostics that can both predict treatment outcomes and monitor patient responses to therapy.
In a large retrospective study of blood samples, the researchers showed that the method, called a "liquid biopsy," could accurately distinguish prostate cancer from normal controls without prior knowledge of the genetic "signature" of the tumors, and with over three times the sensitivity of current prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening.