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A Blood Test for Cancer

C. Bickel/Science Translational Medicine

A Blood Test for Cancer

A blood test that detects tiny amounts of DNA shed by tumors could be used to screen for cancer or find out if a patient's treatment has stopped working, according to two papers published today in Science Translational Medicine. The test spotted tumor DNA in many of more than 600 cancer patients, although it worked better for some types of cancer and more advanced disease, GenomeWeb News reports. One team used it to detect drug resistance mutations in colon tumors and then devised a drug combination to beat the cancer back.

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