A simple blood test may in the future replace mammography and endoscopy of the intestines, which are used to detect cancer at an early stage. This was stated by the experts of the German cancer research center.
In many cases, after treatment of cancer through the identification of circulating DNA fragments of cancer cells was able to figure out whether there will be a relapse. Therefore, according to the head of the Department “Molecular genetics” Peter Lighter, the idea arose to perform a blood test for DNA for early diagnosis. California company Illumina announced that he was going to 2019 to develop an analysis, which allow to recognize many well-known types of cancer, but the Lighter is skeptical. “First, you should confirm the hypothesis, which lies at the basis of this concept,” he says.
Much more advanced scientists who are developing tests to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of already diagnosed cancers. “As opposed to samples of tumor tissue blood without problems can be taken repeatedly within short periods of time. Thus we make sure reacts whether a cancer on the drug, which is very important, because cancer cells quickly develop resistance to many active substances,” the scientist said Holger Sultmann. Together with colleagues he studied the feasibility of conducting blood tests for lung cancer. It was found that the concentration of DNA of the cancer cells in the blood decreased after the start of treatment and again increased as soon as the disease had returned.
However, despite the success, before the analysis is ready for everyday use, it is necessary to find answers to many questions. In the future, scientists hope to identify with it the most effective drug for each individual patient.