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  • Conversation: New, simple blood tests for prostate cancer

    • December 15, 2017 11:54 AM GMT
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      New, simple blood tests for prostate cancer

      Conor McKeever introduces an exciting new technology, developed by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.magine if a blood test could show whether a tumour is responding to treatment, without the need for invasive and sometimes painful biopsies. Imagine if it could give doctors an early warning that a drug has stopped working, and offer valuable information about the next one to try. Thanks to our research, these tests are now becoming a reality.
      No two cancers are alike. Their genetic make-up – their DNA code – varies from person to person and can change over time. But a cancer’s specific genetics can have a big impact on how it responds to treatment.
      Our researchers are developing new blood tests to stay one step ahead of this process, allowing us to predict which available treatments will give the most benefit to patients.
      Quicker, simpler, less invasive
      Known as liquid biopsies, the tests are already routinely used in clinical trials, including those we run with our partner hospital, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
      Because they don’t require a tissue sample, liquid biopsies are quicker, simpler and far less invasive than a traditional biopsy. Instead, the tests analyse cancer DNA circulating in the blood to determine whether a drug is working.
      This also means they can pick up DNA from multiple tumours throughout the body, giving a more comprehensive picture than has previously been possible.
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