Emerging blood test could offer effective alternative to detect cancer

Research into a blood test that may spot cancers sooner and allow more targeted treatment is to be presented by a University of Leicester researcher.

Professor Jacqui Shaw from the University's Department of Cancer Studies will give the Frank May Prize Lecture 2017 on 26 June at 5.30pm entitled 'The liquid biopsy, an emerging blood test for cancer'. It takes place in the Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome Building and is free and open to the public.

The lecture will explain how the liquid biopsy could offer an effective alternative to detect and monitor cancer through blood based tests, rather than through a tissue biopsy. It will summarize key highlights of Professor Shaw's liquid biopsy research at Leicester focusing on clinical studies and trials in breast and lung cancers.

Professor Shaw, Professor of Translational Cancer Genetics, said: "This liquid biopsy allows us to 'see' genetic changes that are happening in a cancer in real time through tiny fragments of DNA, termed circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), that are released into the blood stream from dying cancer cells.

"Analysis of this ctDNA is helping to detect cancer earlier than imaging, stratify patients to targeted treatments and monitor their response to this treatment. As the liquid biopsy comes of age the next step is to move this approach into the clinic for patient benefit."

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