By testing cancer DNA in the bloodstream, researchers found they could pick out which men with advanced prostate cancer were likely to benefit from treatment with exciting new drugs called PARP inhibitors.They also used the test to analyse DNA in the blood after treatment had started, so people who were not responding could be identified and switched to alternative therapy in as little as four to eight weeks.
And finally, they used the test to monitor a patient’s blood throughout treatment, quickly picking up signs that the cancer was evolving genetically and might be becoming resistant to the drugs.
Dr. Stegall’s Comments: One of the most difficult aspects of cancer treatment relates to monitoring response to treatment. While we have tumor markers, physical exams, and imaging – and I believe in using all of those modalities – none of them are perfect. Any additional tools we can use to monitor cancer, the better! I look forward to seeing further studies with this 3-in-1 blood test for prostate cancer.