An experimental blood test may one day detect the return of early stage breast cancer months before it is revealed by CT or MRI scans.
Initial treatment can miss some cancer cells. This new test can detect DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream before these cells invade other organs.
Researchers studied fifty-five early-stage breast cancer patients who had undergone chemotherapy followed by surgery.
Blood samples were taken regularly for about two years after surgery. Fifteen patients eventually saw their cancer return. Of these twelve were identified by the blood test about eight months before conventional imaging detected the cancer.
Much more work will be required before this test could be used for the general public.