Simple Blood Test Could Be Used to Detect Breast Cancer

Researchers at the University of Western Australia are working on a quick, simple, and less invasive blood-based test that can detect breast cancer progression or relapse much earlier than current methods such as mammogram, MRI, or biopsy. "Our research examines cancer 'exosomes' which are parts of the cancer shed into the body fluids that can drive the spread and aggressiveness of cancer. These exosomes, or biomarkers of disease, can be detected during routine blood tests and as early studies show exosome levels increase with more aggressive cancers, our research will monitor exosome levels in patients' blood during treatment," says Dr Katie Meehan from UWA's School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "We hope to show that when exosomes become undetectable in the blood, this indicates the cancer is gone or if exosomes remain in the blood, this may identify a cancer at risk of returning."