New Test Could Revolutionize How Cancer Is Found

01.03.11 | Sarah Harnisch

   There is a brand new blood test that is so sensitive it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones. It's made by Boston scientists-- partnering with Johnson and Johnson. The test has been so successful that it may soon be available at your local doctor's office. 4 major U.S. cancer centers say they will start using the experimental test this year.
    Stray cancer cells in the blood mean a tumor has spread or is likely to, many doctors believe. A test like this has the potential to transform care for many types of cancer-- because right now, many people have their cancers diagnosed through needle biopsies that doesn't provide enough of a sample to show the pathways that control a tumor's growth. But cancer cells in blood can show where the tumor is getting its food.