They have developed a technique called liquid biopsy, which is a blood test that will diagnose cancer.
The working of this technique is very simple; it will detect the tiny snippets of cancer DNA in the patient’s blood.
In this technique where only blood sample is taken for diagnosis is very safe than the traditional cancer diagnosis techniques like the traditional biopsy or a CT scan.
This technique could help oncologist to get quick estimates if the treatment is working on the patient and it is a very simple way to monitor the cancer treatment, and they can easily identify developments of the treatment like if the cancer cells has developed resistance to the treatment etc.
Researchers said, “This could change forever the way we follow up not only response to treatments but also the emergence of resistance.”
Researchers said that the extensive evaluations are needed to confirm the efficacy of the blood test, but they say that they conducted small studies on considering colon, lung and blood cancer, and the earlier results are quite encouraging.
For the study they took 126 patients who are suffering from lymphoma and the researchers were able to predict the recurrence even faster than by the traditional CT scan.
The liquid biopsies could also help researchers identify the patients who are more likely to respond to therapy.
Researchers said, “Every cancer has a mutation that can be followed with this method, it is like bar coding the cancer in the blood.”
The standard detection techniques for cancer to determine the effectiveness of the treatment are quite vague as it rely on the improvement of patients symptoms, but these improvements vary with every individual, so it is not much reliable.
Sometimes it also happens that the doctors think that the tumor is present when it has gone.
Experts say, “When you are treating a patient — and we see this many times — your treatment is quite effective but there is some residual lesion on a scan, you take the patient to surgery for a biopsy, and all you see is scar tissue. There is no visible cancer there.”
The blood test is reliable and helps the researchers to clearly identify if the treatment is working on the patient or not.