Published Date : 2019-08-04 Author : Eric
A recent study carried out at five UK hospitals has found that a customized blood test for women with early breast cancer could detect the return of the disease almost eleven months earlier than hospital scans. The research discovered that the test to identify the levels of cancer DNA circulating in the blood could point to the prospective return of the disease after treatment, at an average of 10.7 months ahead of the development of symptoms or the appearance of the secondary tumors became visible on scans. The test was developed by the Institute of Cancer Research, London and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and was found to be effective in all types of breast cancer and could detect the early signs of the spread of the disease around the body. The study has been funded by Breast Cancer Now and other collaborators.
Almost 55,000women and 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year. While more women are now able to survive it than before, owing to the advancement of NHS treatment, recurrences are still prevalent and happen when breast cancer cells survive the initial treatment to turn into tumors. In case of relapse, when the disease returns and spreads in metastatic or secondary breast cancer, and even though it can be delayed, there is no definite cure for it yet. The study, led by Professor Nicholas Turner, Breast Cancer Now Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), involved 101 women across five UK hospitals. The researchers examined the potential of new customized blood tests to detect recurrence in patients diagnosed with early breast cancer who had no signs of secondary tumors.
The tests are custom-made as per the structure of every woman’s tumor to allow the regulation of the levels of cancer DNA in the bloodstream. Further development of the research will help understand how the test could be applied in clinics to help devise treatments and improve patient outcomes, with UK trials currently underway to assess new therapies alongside an investigation of its efficacy in triple-negative breast cancer.
Read more at: breast cancer insights