Liquid biopsy to diagnose cancer in 10 minutes

By Monday April 18th, 2016Medicine and Technology, News

The revolutionary cancer diagnosis method based on the analysis of saliva has been discovered at the University of California, Los Angeles. Studied at the Center for Oral/Head and Neck Oncology Research of UCLA by David Wong’s team and presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, liquid biopsy is the new test that can detect traces of tumoral DNA in body fluids in just 10 minutes for a total amount of 20$. The test is 100% precise and is not invasive, on the contrary autopsy that today, at times, one is forced to perform. It can be done at doctor’s or dentist’s office, in pharmacies or even at home.

Saliva liquid biopsy provides a definitive diagnosis when the tumor grows, along with the possibility to carry out careful monitoring of the disease during the therapy. The test has been proved to be particularly effective up till now in the early diagnosis of lung cancer, for which currently there is no quick screening. Through blood tests it is possible to diagnose lung cancer in two weeks. In the next few months a clinical trial will be carried out in China on patients suffering from lung cancer, pending the Food and Drug Administration (i.e. the agency that regulates medicines in the US) to approve the commercialization of this diagnostic method, which is expected to take place within a couple of years.

Dr. Wong is considering to use this test together with the others which are currently used, such as radiography. This type of test may prove instrumental in the early diagnosis of certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, for which currently there are no effective early tests. Dr. Wong explains that “If the tumor is already circulating in the blood or saliva of a person, this test is able detect it. A single drop of saliva is enough and the results are ready in about 10 minutes. Later, it may be possible to obtain a test capable of detecting simultaneously more than one type of cancer”.

Cecilia Natale

About Cecilia Natale

Cecilia is a translator. She has a bachelor degree in Intercultural and linguistic communication and a master degree in Specialized translation, both obtained at the University of Bologna – Forlì Branch. She loves travelling, reading, writing and she never gets tired of discovering new places and cultures. She’s from Porto San Giorgio, a small city near the sea in the region Marche, in Italy. After various academic experiences in Barcelona, the city has become her second home.

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