In a major breakthrough, scientists have been able to develop a method for liquid biopsy for blood cancers. This is the first time that such a biopsy technique has been developed for blood cancers. Experts said that when this technique is perfected, it will allow for more advanced treatment options that are less invasive and more precise and effective. The liquid biopsy technique has been developed by scientists at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia. The biopsy technique works by monitoring tiny fragments of DNA called circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), which are released by cancer cells into the blood stream.
During preliminary trials, scientists have found that this technique can be used in cases involving chronic lymphocytic leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. The liquid biopsy technique can be deployed anytime and can be used to monitor cancer growth throughout the body. It can be used throughout the course of treatment, something that would allow doctors to make rapid adjustment according to the patient’s response to cancer. Speaking on the development, Sarah-Jane Dawson of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said, “This world-first ctDNA test for blood cancers will also help to more rapidly advance the availability of new precision medicines and targeted therapies as these are developed.”