A new cancer blood test may help doctors find cancers earlier and monitor cancer treatment.
The new blood test uses microchip technology to sift blood to search for circulating tumor cells (CTCs), which come from solid tumors and roam through the blood.
The developers of the test call it a "new and effective tool" that has "broad implications" for cancer research, detection, diagnosis, and management.
"While much work remains to be done, this approach raises the possibility of rapidly and noninvasively monitoring tumor response to treatment, allowing changes if the treatment is not effective, and the potential of early detection screening in people at increased risk for cancer," Daniel Haber, MD, says in a news release.
Haber directs the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. He worked on the study with researchers including Sunitha Nagrath, PhD, and Mehmet Toner, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital.
PS. Identifying cancerous activity thru blood-tests is nothing new... however, current methods might be too little too late in a large number of cases. The new method promises to provide much earlier warnings about malignant cancerous activity. The earlier one knows the greater chance for cure and survival.