Monday, January 3, 2011

New Developments for Blood Test to Detect Circulating Cancer Cells

Scientists from the Boston area who invented the concept, and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson announced today that they are joining forces to market an ultra-sensitive blood-test for cancer, the Associated Press reported. Click here for the AP report.

Daniel Haber, who heads Massachusetts General Hospital’s cancer center and is one of the test’s inventors, described the procedure as “like a liquid biopsy” that avoids painful tissue sampling and may be a more reliable way of monitoring patients than periodic scans, the newswire said.

Many doctors believe that stray cancer cells in the blood mean that a tumor has already spread, or is likely to spread. This test that can capture such cells and determine whether cancer cells are circulating in the blood, and the volume of the cells in the blood. This level can be monitored over time to determine if chemotherapy or other treatments are effective on a particular patient. Circulating Tumor Cells are also referred to as CTC's

The test was invented by Boston scientists from Massachusetts General hospital and Harvard University. The Veridex unit of Johnson & Johnson is joining with the doctors and scientists who invented it to further the research and refine the tool.

To read a CNN report about this test click here.

For products that can help reduce cancer treatment side effects click here.