ONE IN A MILLION
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR A NEW BLOOD TEST THAT CAN FIND VERY FEW CANCER CELLS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A new blood test is capable of identifying a single cancer cell among millions of others, industry and the university that developed the technology have announced. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, sees at least one niche for the test.
NELSON: This is poised to become a great tool in cancer medicine practice. My hunch is that we more and more often are seeing people with established cancers respond to certain treatments quite dramatically for prolonged periods of time, but have their cancer then start to progress and regrow. At that point we very often like to know what it is about the cancer that has changed? I wonder if this kind of test might become the liquid biopsy if you will. Just with a blood test we could say there’s the cancer cells in the circulation, they’ve changed in this particular way that should make them vulnerable to a new kind of treatment, and direct the next kind of treatment. :36
Nelson doesn’t see the test being used for screening at this point. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.