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Newly developed blood tests may lead to personalized cancer treatments

Category: Blood and Blood Diseases

Newly developed blood tests may lead to personalized cancer treatmentsResearchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have recently developed genome-based blood tests for cancer patients that may be capable of monitoring tumor levels after therapy.

The tests, which are believed to be the first of their kind, may bring scientists one step closer to developing personalized cancer treatments.

"[These tests] will allow us to measure the amount of cancer in any clinical specimen as soon as the cancer is identified by biopsy," said study co-author Luis Diaz. "This can then be scanned for gene rearrangements, which will then be used as a template to track that particular cancer."

The researchers hope that the results of these blood tests may help clinicians detect the recurrence of cancer and help them understand how well a patient is responding to treatment.

Although the personalized blood tests used in the study are three times as expensive as a CT scan, which is the traditional method of tracking a cancer's progression, Diaz and his colleagues anticipate that the costs will decrease significantly in the near future.
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