Blood Test Aims to Predict Breast Cancer’s Return

Blood Test Aims to Predict Breast Cancer’s Return

[WebMD]

Blood Sample

TUESDAY, April 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A new blood test may one day help predict the recurrence of breast cancer and also a woman’s response to breast cancer treatment, researchers report.

“We are able to do this with literally a spoonful of serum [blood],” said study co-author Saraswati Sukumar, who is co-director of the breast cancer program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore.

Once a patient’s blood is collected, the researchers isolate circulating tumor DNA. The genetics test then detects any of 10 breast cancer-specific genes that have undergone what experts call hypermethylation.

In the hypermethylation process, the activity of some genes that keep cancers in check is turned off, and that may signal a return of the cancer.

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