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Researchers at Hopkins work to make blood test to detect cancer

Researchers at Hopkins work to make blood test to detect cancer

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are working to make detecting cancer as easy as drawing blood. Hopkins scientists have developed a blood test called DELFI, which stands for DNA Evaluation of Fragments for Early Interception. It detects DNA from cancer cells floating around in blood.Dr. Victor Velculescu and his team at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed the groundbreaking technology.”It’s almost like a space-age technology,” Velculescu said.In a study of 724 people at high risk for liver cancer, researchers were able to detect 88% of liver cancer incidences — even in its earliest stages — with a simple blood draw.”It’s an approach that looks in the blood and detects pieces of DNA that are coming from the cancer,” Velculescu said. Zachariah Foda , one of the study’s authors, said it’s more than just extracting DNA.”Once it’s sequenced, that’s when the magic happens,” Foda said. “This is one of the data streams that we created from the sequencing data.”Ultimately, all the data is translated using technology.”We’re very excited to be doing this, and it’s at a time when we can bring these technologies together in the lab with artificial intelligence to develop something that’s never been done before,” Velculescu said. Early detection of liver cancer is key to saving lives. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of death worldwide with 800,000 people dying from it each year.”Very quickly, this disease becomes metastatic and very difficult to treat,” Velculescu said. “One of the benefits of the approach we developed is it’s very cost-effective, it’s inexpensive. We think this means, ultimately, it will be able to get out to everybody in society, and even benefit those around the world.””I think it’s very important that we now have another tool to our arsenal of detecting cancer for patients with liver disease who are at risk for these liver cancers. Less than 20% of them are getting the appropriate screening — that’s because of the cost of the ultrasound as well as accessibility,” Foda said. Hopkins researchers used the same kind of technology to detect lung cancer in a study last year, and they hope DELFI will be the wave of the future for all kinds of cancers.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are working to make detecting cancer as easy as drawing blood.

Hopkins scientists have developed a blood test called DELFI, which stands for DNA Evaluation of Fragments for Early Interception. It detects DNA from cancer cells floating around in blood.

Dr. Victor Velculescu and his team at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed the groundbreaking technology.

“It’s almost like a space-age technology,” Velculescu said.

In a study of 724 people at high risk for liver cancer, researchers were able to detect 88% of liver cancer incidences — even in its earliest stages — with a simple blood draw.

“It’s an approach that looks in the blood and detects pieces of DNA that are coming from the cancer,” Velculescu said.

Zachariah Foda, one of the study’s authors, said it’s more than just extracting DNA.

“Once it’s sequenced, that’s when the magic happens,” Foda said. “This is one of the data streams that we created from the sequencing data.”

Ultimately, all the data is translated using technology.

“We’re very excited to be doing this, and it’s at a time when we can bring together these technologies in the lab with artificial intelligence to develop something that’s never been done before,” Velculescu said.

Early detection of liver cancer is key to saving lives. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of death worldwide with 800,000 people dying from it each year.

“Very quickly, this disease becomes metastatic and very difficult to treat,” Velculescu said. “One of the benefits of the approach we developed is it’s very cost-effective, it’s inexpensive. We think this means, ultimately, it will be able to get out to everybody in society, and even benefit those around the world.”

“I think it’s very important that we now have another tool to our arsenal of detecting cancer for patients with liver disease who are at risk for these liver cancers. Less than 20% of them are getting the appropriate screening — that’s because of the cost of the ultrasound as well as accessibility,” Foda said.

Hopkins researchers used the same kind of technology to detect lung cancer in a study last year, and they hope DELFI will be the wave of the future for all kinds of cancers.

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