Blood test developed in Phoenix area showing promise in detecting cancer

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Researchers at TGen have come up with a simple blood test that can detect cancer cells quickly and without the invasiveness of a biopsy. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Researchers at TGen have come up with a simple blood test that can detect cancer cells quickly and without the invasiveness of a biopsy. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Detecting cancer is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to a new test being developed right here in the Phoenix area

Researchers at TGen have come up with a simple blood test that can detect cancer cells quickly and without the invasiveness of a biopsy.

The test looks for molecular biomarkers found in several cancer types including melanoma, bile duct cancer, rectal cancer and breast cancer.

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Doctor Muhammed Murtaza is one of the researchers on the project and said it's proven to be very accurate.

He said cancer sheds its DNA into the bloodstream. However, some cancers shed more than others.

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That's why it's only beneficial for a few types right now.

Murtaza said this will help doctors and patients make better treatment decisions and make it easier to see how well those treatments are working.

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This happens because of the way cancer reacts to treatments.

"Cancer is a mutation, but it develops new mutations to escape the treatment," he said.

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Right now, accurately detecting cancer means you need a biopsy. This will change that.

To see how well the treatment is working, doctors will just have to take another blood sample.

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He said while this is a very encouraging development, the test is still five to ten years away from being used on a wide scale.

By that time they hope to eventually have it available to detect more types of cancers including very aggressive cancers like Glioblastoma. 

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