Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center recently released a study showing a blood test added to a standard tissue biopsy can significantly improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.
In a recent report, which was published in the Annals of Oncology online journal, Wake Forest researchers who studied 400 patients, found a blood test, or "liquid biopsy," added to a tissue biopsy can better determine the cancer's progress to help guide treatment, according to a medical center release.
“Although cancer diagnosis and treatment have improved greatly over the past decade, too often the initial results are inaccurate and short-lived and the cancer reoccurs because of limitations of the current staging system and the dynamic and systemic nature of cancer,” Wei Zhang, the review’s lead author and an endowed Hanes and Willis Family Professor in cancer at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist, said in the release.
According to the Wake Forest researchers, expanding the ability to detect cancer-specific mutations using the blood test allows for resampling over time during cancer treatment and better guiding patient care.
“The (circulating tumor DNA) circulating in the blood provides a reservoir of DNA information about cancer status that we simply don’t have using TNM alone," Zhang said in a statement. "This could dramatically improve cancer early detection, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, providing real benefits to cancer patients.”