Colorectal Cancer News
Personalized Blood Tests May Identify Cancer Recurrence in Patients
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have used data from cancer patient's genome sequencing to develop individualized blood tests they believe can help personalize patients' treatments. These tests may be used to monitor tumor levels after therapy and determine possible cancer recurrence.
In a report published in Science Translational Medicine, the scientists scanned patient's genomes for rearrangements of large chunks of DNA rather than changes in a single DNA letter. This approach is called Personalized Analysis of Rearranged Ends (PARE). These rearrangements are known to occur exclusively in cancer cells, making them ideal indicators for cancer.
Scientists are hoping these indicators could be used to determine whether cancer cells are present in surgical margins or lymph node tissue removed during surgery, and possibly for diagnosing early cancer. These tests will be inexpensive, scientists are predicting. Genome scans cost about $5,000 per patient, but sequencing costs continue to drop.
More tests are being performed to refine techniques to produce a practical genome-based blood test.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing. Physorg.com. 2010 Feb 18.