According to a new study published in Lancet Oncology by researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center, an existing blood test could help clinicians determine whether patients with surgically removed early-stage breast tumors could see their disease return, says Miriam Falco at CNN's The Chart blog. The researchers took blood samples from 302 chemotherapy-naïve women with stage one, two, or three breast cancer before surgery, and found that the women with even one circulating tumor cell in a small blood sample had a four-times greater chance of death than the women with no CTCs in their sample, Falco says. Women with three or more tumor cells in their blood samples had an 11-times higher risk of death. Normally, a lymph-node biopsy is required to determine a woman's risk for recurrence. If the results of this trial are validated in larger groups of women, it may lead to the development of a new and less invasive screening method for breast cancer patients, she adds.
Round and Round They Go
Jun 07, 2012