A new blood test gives hope for the way cancer is found and treated. The test can detect one cancer cell among a billion healthy cells.
The researchers state that the test they are developing is like a “liquid biopsy.” No need for painful needle penetration to determine what treatment is best for each patient’s tumor which holds great promise.
The test uses a micro-chip that’s similar to a lab slide covered in 78,000 tiny posts.
The posts are coated with anti-bodies that attract and fasten to tumor cells like glue. A patient’s blood sample, about a teaspoon full, is forced across the chip. The cancer cells stick, and stain makes them glow so researchers can grab them for study.
“The greatest promise of the test really is to be able to sample tumors without having to do a biopsy, without having to do an invasive procedure and to do it over and over again during the course of a patient’s treatment,” Dr. Daniel Haber, director of the MGH Cancer Center.