Cancer blood test breakthrough
Doctors from Baltimore, have developed a personalised blood test that offers hope to cancer patients by being able to track via the patients own DNA if treatments are working or if cancer has returned.
The test enables identification of tumour DNA changes which are unique to individuals and would allow in the future doctors to remove very tiny remnants of a tumour.
The test has been developed using samples from patients with breast and bowel cancer and much more work needs to be done before the test becomes available to the public.
Dr. Victor Velculesco, of the John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore feels the test could be "widely applicable" in five years time.
As we get better at controlling cancer it is becoming a chronic disease, a disease that many patients now manage and live with and as such the more that is known about how the cancer is progressing - getting better or worse - the better doctors are able to manage it. It is at this level that the new test offers great hope.
The researchers hope that one day the technology could be used to spot cancer recurrence before they would be picked up by scans.