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Breast cancer relapse test backed

Wednesday April 17th, 2019

A new blood test could detect breast cancer relapse two years earlier than imaging tests, British researchers have reported.

The test detects trace amounts of mutant DNA released from dying tumours – identifying the risk that cancer remains in the body, according to the Leicester University researchers.

The researchers say it detected 89% of relapses an average of 8.9 months faster than imaging tests.

The findings, reported in Clinical Cancer Research, come from a study of 49 patients with early stage breast cancer treated at Imperial College Healthcare in London, the Christie Foundation in Manchester and University Hospitals of Leicester.

Patients provided blood samples every six months for up to four years.

Professor Jacqui Shaw, Professor of Translational Cancer Research at the University of Leicester, said: “Currently, there are no sensitive and specific clinical tests available to follow breast cancer patients after their primary treatment.

“The results of this exciting study show that it is possible to monitor patients with a simple blood-based test, and this may provide a critical window of opportunity for earlier treatment than by other current tests.”

Professor Charles Coombes, Professor of Medical Oncology at Imperial College London, said: “Standard technologies for the detection of cancer recurrence have always been imprecise.

"With this innovative method of detecting minimal residual breast cancer, we now have the opportunity to conduct trials of treatments to prevent patients relapsing with symptomatic metastatic breast cancer.”

Personalized Detection of Circulating Tumor DNA Antedates Breast Cancer Metastatic Recurrence. Clinical Cancer Research 16 April 2019

Tags: Cancer | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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