The detection of cancer has just taken a step forward. Historically, a cancer diagnosis came right out of the blue, sometimes without warning or symptoms. Issels® Center for Immuno-Oncology, reports that a new liquid biopsy test is changing that history, proving the ability to diagnose if a person is at risk through study of their genes.
Pathway Genomics, a global health and research company, has developed a liquid biopsy test which can detect cancerous mutant DNA in completely healthy people. A liquid biopsy is an examination of fluid or blood drawn from the individual to find cancer cells within the blood. The test utilizes gene sequencing to compare genetic markers within the person’s blood sample. Those markers are then contrasted with genetic markers found in common cancers such as ovarian, breast, lung, and colon cancers. If there are genetic markers that match, then the test has found evidence that the patient is at risk of contracting said cancer in the future.
One downside to the liquid biopsy is it can only detect up to a certain point. That limit is determined by how much we already know about cancers. Until we understand more, this test is limited, as the patient might have a rare cancer. Experts have also warned that ill-informed patients could learn of a genetic anomaly and panic, potentially taking drastic steps in reaction to something that was simply natural.
With that said, this new non-invasive liquid biopsy is a life saver to those unaware that they’re at risk. It’s worth keeping track of this new diagnostic test. For more information about cancer and its treatment, contact Issels®.