Tracking a patient’s tumor burden is a critically important part of his or her medical management. For monitoring patients’ tumors, there are only a handful of blood tests limited to only several types of cancers. Instead, nearly all cancer patients require whole body imaging, such as CT scans, to determine the presence and growth of their tumor. Given the high cost and complexity of imaging studies, these scans are done at long intervals of months at a time if not longer. In contrast, molecular tests like the one we have developed will enable patients to be monitored at every visit and thus have the potential for quickly monitoring cancer growth and spread. In addition, the test’s rapid turnaround and relatively low cost provide a potential opportunity for universal monitoring of more patients than is currently done.
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Wood-Bouwens, C., Lau, B. T., Handy, C. M., Lee, H., & Ji, H. P. (2017). Single-Color Digital PCR Provides High-Performance Detection of Cancer Mutations from Circulating DNA. J Mol Diagn, 19(5), 697-710. doi:10.1016/j.jmoldx.2017.05.003