If science has its way, then very soon the Biologists from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre will give the world that single blood test that will help detect cancer; mitigating the need for testing tissue samples.
This team has developed a new way of detecting cancer from particles in the blood called exosomes. 'Exosomes are tiny particles about the size of a virus shed by almost every cell in the body.' Researchers discovered that the exosomes contain large fragments of DNA and it was possible to detect existence of cancer cells from this DNA.
The team suggests that with this research they will be able to identify any number of genetic mutations in a blood sample, which may indicate the presence of cancer, without having to test tumor tissue for the same.
Currently there is no one single blood test for cancer screening; in addition in most suspected cancer cases, a tumor sample is tested in order to determine whether the same is cancerous or not.
This test says Raghu Kalluri- the lead researcher, will save one from "risks and significant costs associated with surgical procedures to acquire tumor tissue." He added that "this fingerprint will help lead them to the likely site of the tumor in the body."
The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.