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U.S. plans trial of early detection blood tests for multiple cancers

  • 156 points
  • 13 days ago

  • @Gatsky
  • Created a post

U.S. plans trial of early detection blood tests for multiple cancers


@carvking 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

Sometimes the treatment is worse than the decease.

But more profitable.

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@lacker 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

At some point DNA sequencing will be cheap and sensitive enough that consumers will be able to do it whenever they feel sick, and measure even tiny fragments. Instead of swabbing your nose for a Covid test, you could be swabbing your nose for an "everything" test. You have your DNA on file and then anything out of the ordinary is brought to your attention. Maybe some warning signs of cancer like this, maybe just identifying the precise mild cold you caught a couple days ago.

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@CodeBeater 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

I'm pleasantly surprised at the effort being put into avoiding false positives.

I can easily imagine a doctor put in a tough spot whilst deciding to treat a possible early stage cancer. If he gets it wrong a malpractice lawsuit is surely to ensue.

I really hope we live to see a future where physicians have less noisy data to work with, especially regarding early detection.

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@formerkrogemp 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

I have a different question. Who will be able to afford this, and under what insurance plans?

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@adamredwoods 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

Here's the actual (ahem) PowerPoint in PDF:

https://prevention.cancer.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/ma...

Interestingly, I've never heard of cfDNA fragmentomics:

https://www.aacc.org/science-and-research/clinical-chemistry...

>> Well, initially, the main motivation for studying a cell-free DNA analysis is to look for species of DNA that might have been released from various organs that might be useful for doing diagnostics on them. So, for example, we have analyzed DNA that came from the placenta for prenatal diagnosis. We’ve analyzed DNA release from tumors for cancer assessment, but we need to somehow distinguish these molecules of interest with the molecules that are just floating around in the background that might not be from a diseased organ or the organ of interest. So previously, when the field first started, we tried to use genetic differences. For example, for tumor, we might be looking for mutations that were present in the tumor genome and use those features to distinguish the tumor DNA from the non-tumor DNA. But then, as time went on, we realized that those DNA of interest, they typically are shorter. For example, the DNA from placenta or tumor cells, they are shorter than the background DNA that we are not as much interested in. Then, when we looked into why these DNA molecules are shorter, then we found out that the fragmentation process is actually non-random. From this point onwards, people started as, why is it not random and how does the cell control which part of genome becomes fragmented and how can we make use of these fragmented features? And very soon, I mean, it became a field and the studies—the number of studies just exploded.

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@kemmishtree 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

Reading all the comments here, there's a legit but crazy sounding scientific voice crying out in the wilderness "hey we need solid-state utility-scale molecular sensing and this is weirdly the way to get there." www.molecularreality.com If you want to help, get in touch.

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@killjoywashere 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

As a pathologist, good luck. The problem with early detection is getting enough signal. These liquid biopsies have historically worked for large occult tumors that are spilling a bunch of DNA. They won't work for in situ tumors, almost by definition. Maybe some really agro DCIS, but generally if the tumor hasn't broken across the basement membrane, you're going to have a hard time getting signal in the blood stream. Contradictory evidence is most welcome.

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@yieldcrv 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

> NCI advisers endorsed a $75 million, 4-year pilot study

Did any donations and city-wide marathons have any effect on the funding for this particular study? Just seeing what the best use of energy is.

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@melling 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

Craig Venter says early detection is the way to eliminate cancer:

https://youtu.be/iUqgTYbkHP8?t=15m37s

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@thadk 13 days

Replying to @Gatsky 🎙

CxO-level health insurance programs have been covering routine cancer-detecting liquid biopsies for at least 5 years, no?

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