This is an important new finding. University of California San Diego has developed a new blood test that may not only detect cancer, but it may be able to locate where in the body the tumor is growing. This study could provide a way to diagnose cancer earlier along without having to do invasive biopsies. This is still a work in progress. This isn’t ready for prime time but I do think it’s interesting because it’s looking at DNA and, obviously, you spent a lot of your career trying to diagnose cancers- Exactly. And get them at the earliest possible stage. This, to me, is very interesting being able to use a blood test, looking at DNA that may be released by a cancerous cell.
A tumor cell. Yeah, we call them CTCs, circulating tumor cells and so if you are able to see that cell, the most current technology is now looking at particular receptors that say, “Hey, “I am a cancer cell and I came from “the colon, the liver, the breast.” But, prior to this, although it’s new technology it wasn’t smart enough to say where the cell came from. We’re just like, “Mm, that’s a cancer cell.” And then you scan the whole body, PET, CT, and you can’t find the origin. That doesn’t set someone up to feel confident and great about the longevity of their lives. It just creates stress and there’s no, nothing to do because you don’t know where that cell came from. So getting answers is–
Well, the advances– And the advances in these so-called markers that we’re finding, I mean, in your field in breast cancer everything that you monitor now, following breast cancer, so many of these didn’t even exist when I was in medical school–
Well, and this, This still needs refinement before we’re gonna be able to use it
But, but– But do you guys think, I mean– Exciting! Yeah. I don’t know when this will be more readily available. It’ll be awhile. It will be. This is not prime time at all. And that’s what’s tough is, for people now who are dealing with or trying to figure out their diagnoses, you know, this is in the pipeline and it’s really exciting and I think there could be a time in the future. But at this point in time, this is not something where you can go to your doctor and say, “Hey, I want that blood test– Right. “To see if I have cancer and where it came from.” But, this is such an interesting finding and, incidentally, it was found by accident.