Scientists use liquid biopsy for finding residual cancer DNA

Cancer patients who go through surgery for tumor removal may occasionally require chemotherapy as there can be high chances of recurrence. Usually, invasive techniques require tumor tissue for the detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) or minimal residual disease (MRD) as it is an important prognostic tool for identifying cancer recurrence in post-surgical patients. Moreover, this technique also has an added disadvantage as this approach needs an understanding of the tumor-specific alterations, and a sufficient amount of tumor tissue is required for further analyses.

Recently a new study has demonstrated that ” Guardant Reveal” – a type of Liquid Biopsy using blood has helped to identify ctDNA. The researchers have assessed the first blood-only liquid biopsy to detect the persisting cancer cells in patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer. The ctDNA results from 84 patients were examined and analyzed how it correlated with cancer recurrence. Moreover, this ” tumor uninformed” approach was equivalent to the invasive techniques in both sensitivity and specificity.

This first blood- only test will be able to provide information on the patient’s health status in detecting residual cancer cells without the need for a tissue biopsy. Besides, this could be helpful in stipulating better treatment plans.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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