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EXPANDED GENE SCANS

ANCHOR LEAD: MONITORING HOW EFFECTIVE CANCER TREATMENTS ARE MAY BE POSSIBLE WITH GENETIC TESTING, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Cancer cells acquire specific mutations that can be identified in tumor cells found in a patient’s blood. Finding and monitoring those changes for individual patients is now possible, scientists at Johns Hopkins led by cancer researcher Bert Vogelstein have shown. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

NELSON: Very high technology, so called next generation sequencing, that generates huge amounts of information in an ever increasingly inexpensive way, was used to survey the entire genome of cancer cells from people with cancer, to identify acquired changes in genes, that could be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.  So once they found a specific gene defect they could design a test for that defect, go to the bloodstream after surgery, after chemotherapy, and see had that cancer been completely eradicated by the treatment or not.           :31

Nelson says parents are usually very good advocates for their children with cancer.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

 



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