Magazine article USA TODAY

Diagnostic Tool's Individualized Appeal

Magazine article USA TODAY

Diagnostic Tool's Individualized Appeal

Article excerpt

A device has been enhanced that identifies and "grabs" circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, that break away from cancers and enter the blood, often leading to the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. If more studies confirm the technology's effectiveness, the NanoVelcro Chip could enable physicians to access and identify cancerous cells in the bloodstream, which would provide the diagnostic information needed to create individually tailored treatments for patients with prostate cancer.

The researchers, who published their results in Advanced Materials, believe this technology may function as a "liquid biopsy," revolutionizing conventional biopsy practices and significantly advancing the field of personalized medicine. Today's biopsies require the removal of tissue samples through a needle inserted into a solid tumor, a procedure that is invasive and sometimes painful. Biopsies are extremely difficult in metastatic prostate cancer because the disease often spreads to bone, where the availability of the tissue is low.

The biggest challenges in the treatment of cancer are that every person's tumor differs greatly and often mutates over time, especially in response to treatment. …

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