March 2, 2017 – Breast Cancer Blood Test


Anchor lead: A new blood test may help manage breast cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Liquid biopsies, which look for cancer in a blood sample, have moved closer to fruition with a Johns Hopkins study led by Kala Visvanathan. The study looked for aberrant DNA using addition of a chemical marker known as a methyl group in women with advanced breast cancer.

Visvanathan: In some ways it measures tumor burden. The C-meth DNA panel is a panel of markers identified from breast cancer tumors. The assay is actually novel because it’s highly sensitive and specific. And it picks up very small levels of methylation in the blood, and it’s also one of the first assays to quantify the actual amount of methylation. :21

Visvanathan: The very interesting part of this is also that higher levels at four weeks after the initiation of a new treatment in breast cancer patients with metastatic disease, those levels predicted response 12 weeks later.  :14

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.