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UC San Diego Bioengineers Developing Potential Blood Test for Early Cancer Detection


A new blood test being developed by bioengineers at the University of California San Diego could provide a way to diagnose cancer early on without invasive surgical procedures.

The findings, published March 6 in Nature Genetics, focus on a DNA signature in blood that could help detect tumor cells and identify where they are in the body.

"We made this discovery by accident," said Kun Zhang, a bioengineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and senior author of the study. "Initially, we were taking the conventional approach and just looking for cancer cell signals and trying to find out where they were coming from. But we were also seeing signals from other cells and realized that if we integrate both sets of signals together, we could actually determine the presence or absence of a tumor, and where the tumor is growing."

"This a proof of concept. To move this research to the clinical stage, we need to work with oncologists to further optimize and refine this method," he continued.

Read more about this research news on the UC San Diego News Center.

Photo: UC San Diego Bioengineering professor Kun Zhang. Source: UC San Diego News Center