Blood Test Performs as Well as Tissue Biopsy in Characterizing Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

Blood Test Performs as Well as Tissue Biopsy in Characterizing Prostate Cancer, Study Finds
A blood test may one day replace tumor tissue sampling for patients with prostate cancer, as research shows that nearly 90 percent of a tumor’s genetic features can be detected in the blood. Such blood biopsies may make it easier for physicians to choose treatment, and monitor a patient for disease progression and treatment response, said researchers behind a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications. "Our ultimate hope is to use blood biopsies to exhaustively search for and characterize even the smallest remnants of tumors," Viktor Adalsteinsson, PhD, co-first study author and leader of the Blood Biopsy Team at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, said in a press release. "And, as tumors evolve in more advanced stages of cancer, developing resistance or becoming metastatic, we might access timepoints that could be pivotal in deciding which therapies are right for that patient." While the idea to track cancer by measuring its DNA in the blood is not new, the study, “Scalable whole-exome sequencing of cell-free DNA reveals high concordance with metastatic tumors,” improves many of the tools used to make the method more robust. The key to tracking tumor properties in blood is the presence of DNA in the bloodstream. When cells die, some of their DNA leaks into the blood. And since tumor DNA differs from that of healthy cells, it potentially can be analyzed. Up to now, however, the procedure has been hampered by several issues. For
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

One comment

  1. Alan Kousen says:

    If, as this implies, can effectively track PCa cancer DNA, then shouldn’t it be useful as a tool to track effectiveness for those of us whoa have had treatment? Looking at PSA numbers needs to be replaced with a REAL test that detects PCa cells.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *