Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA Can Help Doctors Screen for Cancer

Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA pic

Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA
Image: nature.com

Accomplished researcher Madhu Kumar has contributed to recent developments in cancer screening and diagnostics. Madhu Kumar’s work centers on cancer therapy and the applications of DNA in cancer identification.

Researchers have been in pursuit of a reliable cancer biomarker for many years. The variable and mutative nature of cancer made this difficult until a few years ago. Now, scientists are using DNA from tumors to help identify the presence of cancer faster.

As tumor cells naturally die off, they release bits of their DNA into the patient’s bloodstream. These pieces are known as cell-free circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA. These particles make it easier to find cancer even when a biopsy is not practical.

Scientists first looked at 187 patients who had 17 different varieties of cancer. In addition to finding ctDNA mutations in some patients’ blood, researchers discovered that there is a correlation between cancer stage and ctDNA concentration. This suggests that ctDNA testing can help screen for cancer at any stage, and could help physicians monitor tumors throughout treatment.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s