‘Liquid biopsy’ study offers hope for a blood test to find cancer

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 A patient at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia has blood drawn for a liquid biopsy last year. The test detected a recurrence of breast cancer. (Jacqueline Larma/AP)

CHICAGO — The biggest study to date on new blood tests to detect and analyze cancerous tumors concluded that such “liquid biopsies” are a reliable alternative to conventional biopsies, offering a potentially cheaper and less invasive way of monitoring malignancies.

The study, which involved genetic information from more than 15,000 patients and 50 tumor types, compared tumor samples from liquid biopsies with those from traditional biopsies. In the vast majority of cases, the genetic changes detected by the blood tests agreed with the mutations identified in the tissue biopsies.

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