Tags: Cancer | cancer | dna | detection | test | stanford | diagnosis

Stanford Chemists Develop Ultra-Sensitive DNA Cancer Test

Stanford Chemists Develop Ultra-Sensitive DNA Cancer Test
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Friday, 08 July 2016 11:55 AM

Stanford University chemists have developed an ultra-sensitive blood test that can detect various cancers and even HIV by tracking DNA.

The new technique is thousands of times more sensitive than current techniques in lab experiments, and it is now being put to test in real-world clinical trials.

Lead researcher Carolyn Bertozzi, a professor of chemistry at Stanford, explained that when a disease — such as cancer or even a virus like HIV — begins growing in the body, the immune system responds by producing antibodies. Fishing these antibodies or related biomarkers out of the blood is one way that scientists identify the presence of a disease.

The new Stanford technique augments this standard procedure with powerful DNA screening technology. The test tracks short strands of DNA that are like biochemical disease signatures instead of antibodies or other biomarkers.

The researchers tested their DNA technique against four commercially available, federally-approved tests for a biomarker for thyroid cancer. It outperformed the sensitivity of all of them, by at least 800 times, and as much as 10,000 times.

By detecting the biomarkers of disease at lower concentrations, physicians could theoretically catch diseases far earlier in their progression.

The researchers are now testing the technique in clinical trials funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.

"Many of our collaborators are excited that the test can be readily deployed in their lab," said co-researcher Cheng-ting "Jason" Tsai. "In contrast to many new diagnostic techniques, this test is performed on pre-existing machines that most clinical labs are already familiar with."

The researchers are also pursuing tests for Type 1 diabetes, for which early detection could help patients manage the disease with fewer side effects.

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Cancer
Stanford chemists have developed an ultra-sensitive blood test that can detect various cancers and even HIV by tracking DNA.
cancer, dna, detection, test, stanford, diagnosis
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2016-55-08
Friday, 08 July 2016 11:55 AM
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