Another major feat has been achieved in the continuing fight against the debilitating disease, cancer, wherein an innovative blood test has been created that will help in tracking the cancer patient's disease status.
The blood test, which was developed by a group of cancer research scientists based in the United Kingdom will help pair the patient's cancer type and the treatment necessary to fight the tumor.
It will sort of give "real-time" commentary on how the cancer is changing or evolving.
The blood test will help the physicians monitor on how well the treatment is going and whether the cancer is beginning to be resistant to the treatment. 39 cancer patients or subjects were used during the clinical trial of the blood test, wherein over 160 samples of blood were drawn and used.
Scientists and clinicians from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden in London's found that the drug on its clinical trial showed superb results, and was positive that the blood test can monitor the cancer quickly and effectively.
The blood test works like this: it filters the DNA of the tumor from a patient's blood sample to be analyzed for genetic faults. The researchers, through knowing the cancer faults, can match them to targeted cancer treatments, which then home in on cancer cells carrying these mistakes.
There are still many physicians and clinicians who opt for biopsies on the tumor, which is an invasive way of determining the cancer stage and normally it is only taken at the beginning of the treatment.
This could mean that the doctor might be using outdated materials during the course of the cancer treatment.
"Tumours and the gene faults that drive them are unique and constantly evolving. It's crucial that we understand these changes so doctors can choose the best treatments for each patient," Professor Johann de Bono, from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden, said.