Blood Test to Spot Cancer Gets Big Boost

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press


In a Jan. 3 story about a test developed by Massachusetts General Hospital to find cancer cells in blood, The Associated Press erroneously described the technology that will go through more study and development.

The initial version of the test used a microchip with tiny posts to capture the cells. A second, updated version uses a herringbone design instead of posts. Four cancer centers will do tests this year using that new design with a grant from the Stand Up to Cancer telethon. Johnson & Johnson has joined with Mass General to develop a third-generation test with a different technology aimed at mass production.

Original Story
Researchers are making progress on a blood test that can spot a single cancer cell among a billion healthy ones.

The health care company Johnson & Johnson says it will join scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, where the test was invented, to try to bring the test to market within the next several years.

Researchers think the test has the potential to transform care of many types of cancer, especially breast, colon, prostate and lung.

Doctors hope to use it to determine what treatment would be best for a particular tumor, and to find out quickly if the treatment is working. Ultimately, the test may offer another way to screen for cancer besides the mammograms, colonoscopies and other methods used now. But that will require more study.

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