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Liquid Biopsy Predicts Colon Cancer Recurrence
2016-07-08
 
 

July 7, 2016 Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

One of the most exciting applications of precision medicine is the minimally to noninvasive technique of isolating tumor DNA from biofluids for diagnostic purposes—the aptly named liquid biopsy. This screening tool incorporates the power and speed of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to either diagnose disease or track the progression of a disease throughout a patient’s life or treatment course.

Now, investigators at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the University of Melbourne have utilized liquid biopsy screening to predict the likelihood of recurrence in some—but not all—of a small group of patients with early-stage colon cancer. If confirmed by further research, this new test could eventually help clinicians decide which patients need additional treatment at the time of their initial cancer diagnosis of stage II cancer. Stage II tumors, in general, have invaded nearby tissues but have not spread to other organs, and uncertainty has long surrounded the question of whether chemotherapy prescribed after surgical treatment is beneficial.


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