Blood test to monitor effectiveness of cancer treatment developed on DWN CANCER UPDATE | Dialysis World Nigeria - DWN
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Blood test to monitor effectiveness of cancer treatment developed on DWN CANCER UPDATE
Date Posted: 16/Oct/2015   Deadline: 16/Oct/2015


Very soon a blood test could help cancer patient not just identify the most suitable therapy for their disease but also help track the tumour's progress to see if the treatment is working, according to research report published in the 'Clinical Cancer Research' journal.



It is the first time a blood test has been used during clinical trials of targeted drugs, proving that the technique can monitor cancer simply and quickly, states the report based on work done by scientists and clinicians from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.



Largely funded by Cancer Research UK, the study looked at almost 160 blood samples from 39 cancer patients with different types of late-stage cancer.



The Institute of Cancer Research in a press statement said that "using the blood test throughout a patient's treatment gives a 'running commentary' of what is happening to tumours giving scientists the lowdown on how well the treatment is working, how the cancer is changing and whether it is becoming resistant to treatment.



The test filters out tumour DNA from a patient's blood to be analysed for genetic faults. Based on the results, researchers can match the faults to targeted cancer treatments which then home in on cancer cells carrying these mistakes".



Under the present line of treatment, tumour samples, known as biopsies, are usually only taken at the beginning of treatment, which essentially means that doctors may be using out-of-date information about how the genetic makeup of a patient's disease is changing in response to treatment.



But the new approach could provide real-time updates, as well as helping doctors identify patients who are suitable for clinical trials of new drugs.



Tumours and the gene faults that drive them are unique and constantly evolving. It's crucial that we understand these changes so doctors can choose the best treatments for each patient," said Professor Johann de Bono, the study leader and Professor in Experimental Cancer Medicine at the ICR and Honorary Consultant at The Royal Marsden.



We need to do more research, but this approach could have a huge impact on how we make treatment decisions, also potentially making diagnosis and treatment quicker, cheaper and less invasive."



The blood test developed by the UK scientists has been tested in clinical trials of targeted drugs, proving that the technique can monitor cancer simply and quickly.



Dr Kat Arney, Cancer Research UK's science information manager, said: Blood tests like these are the future of cancer treatment and this study proves that they can work in practice helping us to diagnose, analyse and monitor tumours more easily.



Source: MNT, DWN Africa.

 

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