‘Red Flag’ Blood Test for Cancer Recurrence

A blood test may alert doctors to cancer recurrance earlier than imaging.

RESEARCH Researchers at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center and Life Technologies have scanned the genomes of six cancer patients looking for rearranged DNA. Once found, these sections were used as red flags to see whether the patients' blood contained tumor DNA after treatment. The researchers took samples of solid-tumor tissue and healthy cells from four patients with colorectal cancer and two with breast cancer. They used a next-generation gene-sequencing technology to sequence multiple fragments of DNA in parallel. These blood tests may give oncologists a clearer picture of how a patient is responding to treatment, according to a report published online February 18, 2010 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Tags: clinical study, hematology, microbiology, molecular biology, oncology, physiology

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