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'Liquid Biopsy' Study: Less Painful, More Effective in Tracking Cancer Tumor Changes

Update Date: Jun 06, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Liquid biopsy has been found to be more effective at tracking cancer tumor changes. In a study about blood tests, researchers have found that liquid biopsy is more effective for monitoring tumors and significantly less painful than standard biopsies offered in hospitals today.

Liquid Biopsy Used Only to Track Cancer Tumor Changes

Standard biopsies use tissues to look at how cancer tumors are progressing. However, the liquid biopsy uses blood from cancer patients. Researchers counted on the fact that DNA from cancerous tumors circulate along with blood and they were successful in their new approach.

However, liquid biopsies are not used to diagnose cancer. They are to track down the progress of tumors in patients or genetic mutations which could aid them in finding the right drug or treatment strategy, New York Times reported.

Liquid Biopsy - Less Painful, Cheaper, and More Effective

The name of the liquid biopsy test used in the research is called Guardant360, Medscape noted. The Guardant360 looks for 70 kinds of mutations in the blood. Patients that were tested had varying kinds of cancer including those of lung, colorectal, breast and others. When they compared the results of the liquid biopsy test and the standard tissue biopsy, the former had a good accuracy score at more than 85%.

The results of the study were released this weekend at the annual gathering of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. It was presented by University of California Davis's Comprehensive Cancer Center, director of molecular pharmacology, Philip Mack.

Mack added that the liquid biopsies could be a suitable option for standard tissue biopsy, The Washington Post shared. The liquid biopsy test is especially useful for cancers that are located in critical organs like the brain. Furthermore, it is cheaper and less invasive as it only uses blood instead of tissue samples.

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