Blood Test Could Offer Glimpse Into Future Of Cancers Returning
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have been able to use blood tests to trace cancer cells when they are still invisible due to X-Rays or CT scans.
The team, led by Professor Charles Swanton, is analysing DNA released by tumour cells into the blood of lung cancer patients over the course of their treatment. By taking a simple sample of blood scientists can show in detail how the cancers change as they develop.
The data shows that in certain patients the blood tests could help detect a recurrence months in advance of it showing on a scan.
“This means that for the first time in lung cancer, we could open up clinical trials where patients with disease, that isn’t yet visible through medical imaging, can be treated with new drugs,” says Professor Swanton.
“We could also use tumour DNA in the blood to monitor how well the treatments are working.”
Cancer Research UK commented: “For a cancer that’s hard to treat, this could make a big difference for patients. But these results are still just an early glimpse from this ongoing study, so there’s more to be done before blood tests like this could be tested in clinical trials.”