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Round and Round They Go

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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.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.