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Blood test could give early breast cancer warning sign; HEALTH.

A SIMPLE blood test may in future provide breast cancer patients with an early warning of the disease returning after chemotherapy and surgery.

The test uncovers small numbers of residual tumour cells that have evaded treatment by detecting cancer DNA in the blood stream.

It is so sensitive that relapses can be predicted several months before new tumours show on scans. Scientists hope the test will also make it possible to identify genetic mutations likely to prove lethal to a particular patient, so therapy can be tailored.

Dr Nicholas Turner, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said: "We have shown how a simple blood test has the potential to accurately predict which patients will relapse from breast cancer, much earlier than we can currently.

"We also used blood tests to build a picture of how the cancer was evolving over time.

"Ours is the first study to show that these blood tests could be used to predict relapse. It will be some years before the test could potentially be available in hospitals, but we hope to bring this date closer."

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 27, 2015
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