Blood test 'could help to predict best approach to treating lung cancer'

23 November 2016

Researchers have developed a new blood testing method that could be used to predict how well small-cell lung cancer patients will respond to treatment.

A team from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester have been able to isolate circulating tumour cells that had broken away from the main body of cancerous tissue in the blood of 31 patients with this form of the disease.

By analysing these cells, patterns of genetic faults were identified that, if measured before treatment, showed an association with how well and how long a patient might respond to chemotherapy.

A further examination of genetic changes in patients who initially responded well to treatment but later relapsed showed a different pattern compared to those who did not respond well to chemotherapy, suggesting different mechanisms of drug resistance had developed.

Lead researcher Professor Caroline Dive, based at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said: "By identifying differences in the patterns of genetic faults between patients, we now have a starting point to begin to understand more about how drug resistance develops in patients with this aggressive form of lung cancer."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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