Blood tests could help diagnose cancer
A few milliliters of blood could be enough to detect cancer in a cheaper and faster process, according to two new tests.
In one of the studies, published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, researchers from Stanford University in California developed the single color digital PCR test to detect as few as three DNA mutations released by cancer cells. The test found cancer DNA in three of the six patients who participated. Three of the other patients who received negative results were undergoing active treatment at the time. “Molecular tests like this one we have developed will enable patients to be monitored at every visit, and thus have the potential for quickly tracking cancer growth and spread,” said Hanley Ji, who led the study.
The second test, published in the journal Cancer Cell by researchers in the Netherlands, opted to test for lung cancer RNA in platelets. The researchers took blood samples from 700 people and identified 81 percent of the lung cancer cases. The researchers said the results were good, but not enough to serve as a sole diagnostic test. —O.O.