The Arizona Daily Star reported a study on a new blood test to identify to detect and quantify early cancer cells carried out at the University of Arizona. Researchers combined the latest in epigenetics that reports genes that turn on and off with informatics that includes advanced data-processing and analytics. Researchers said they could successfully detect early stage lung cancer that iws commercialized in a new company, DesertDx LLC.
The test is based on a process called methylation by which cancer disrupts the DNA makeup. It recognizes biological markers for methylation to detect and quantify the presence of cancer cells. These markers allow doctors to evaluate the effectiveness of surgery by comparing the markers before and after surgery. It also allows clinicians to assess for recurrence of cancer. One authority said it is best used in conjunction with computerized tomography, of CT scans. He continues on to say “You might see a nodule in a CT scan image, but up until now we haven’t had an easy way to know if what we see is cancerous or benign. The only way is a tissue biopsy.” “This blood test allows us to characterize what we’re able to see in a scan and say whether it’s cancer or not, all using a routine blood draw.”