Novel blood test to detect, locate cancer early
ISLAMABAD: (APP) Scientists have developed a new blood test to detect cancer and locate where in the body the tumour is growing, an advance way to eliminate the need for invasive surgical procedures like biopsies.
"Knowing the tumour's location is critical for effective early detection," said Kun Zhang, professor at the University of California-San Diego in the US.
When a tumour starts to take over a part of the body, it competes with normal cells for nutrients and space, killing them off in the process, Medical Xpress reported.
As normal cells die, they release their DNA into the bloodstream, and that DNA could be used to identify the affected tissue, the researchers said.
The new method screens for a particular DNA signature called CpG methylation haplotypes.
Each tissue in the body can be identified by its unique signature of methylation haplotypes.
If we integrate both cancer cell and other cells signals we could actually determine the presence or absence of a tumour, and where it is growing, Zhang explained.
The test works like a dual authentication process – the combination of both signals above a statistical cutoff – is required to assign a positive match, the researchers noted.