New blood test could detect cancer in patients

U.S. & World

(NBC) When it comes to fighting cancer, early detection is key. Researchers at the University of Arizona say a simple blood test could be your best weapon.

Dr. Bernard Futscher, UA College of Pharmacy professor, says, “We believe that simple, inexpensive blood tests are really the road to the future for cancer detection and monitoring.”

The test is called “Desert DX”.  Researchers say a specific set of markers found on DNA show a cell’s identity.

“We know cancer is a loss of cell identity, so these markers change,” Futscher said. “We can detect those changes in 2 teaspoons full of blood sample .”

“Desert DX” was commercialized with the help of Tech Launch Arizona.

The researchers are working on clinical trials so they can get the test into the hands of doctors.

Dr. Mark Nelson, UA College of Medicine professor, adds, “We hope to be able to offer this test to patients by 2020.”

According to Futscher, “It will decrease the burden that cancer has on humanity.”

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