The blood test shows the small amount of cancer cells left behind even after chemotherapy and surgery.
A new way to detect breast cancer relapse has been found. A simple blood test can now determine if patients are going into relapse. The blood test is able to identify the cancerous cells in the bloodstream.
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The cells are left behind after chemotherapy and surgery. The cancerous cells left behind are one which evaded the treatment. The presence of the cancer DNA in such a form causes a relapse. The small amount of cells is found in the bloodstream.
The blood test can detect a relapse very early on before the cells divide. The blood test is extremely sensitive. Through the test cancer relapse can be predicted several months before a tumor forms.
Small cancerous cells do not show on hospital scans but the blood test can detect them. The researchers are also hoping genetic mutations can be predicted through the same route. If genetic mutations can be identified through the blood test then treatments can be refined.
The breakthrough was published in a research paper yesterday. The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The research was carried out by Dr Nicholas Turner of the Institute of Cancer Research in London.
According to Dr. Turner they have used blood cells to paint a picture of how cancer is evolving. The information could prove invaluable to doctors in selecting the right drugs for treating cancer.
This is the first study to have predicted cancer relapse through a blood test. It still may be many years until the test actually become available in the hospitals. Dr. Turner further shared they are going to start large clinical trials from next years. The clinical trials will help them in bringing the treatment to hospitals earlier.
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This study is published in Science Translational Medicine.