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Chip-based cancer test may replace painful bone biopsy

The blood test, described in the journal Integrative Biology, uses a small plastic chip about the size of a credit card

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Chip-based cancer test may replace painful bone biopsy

Scientists have developed a low-cost, reliable for that uses a small about the size of a credit card, which could make painful biopsies a relic of the past.

The diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma, affecting plasma cells, traditionally forces patients to suffer through a painful biopsy, said researchers from in the US.

During that procedure, doctors insert a bone-needle through an to get a marrow sample - or make a larger and remove a section of bone via

The blood test, described in the journal Integrative Biology, uses a small about the size of a that can deliver the same diagnostic information as a bone - but using a simple blood draw instead.

"For the last 10 years, we have been developing a blood-based test for a variety of diseases - one of them is multiple myeloma," said Steven Soper, a at the

"We will be able to eliminate the need for bone-marrow biopsies and allow the clinician to determine the best way to treat the using a blood draw," said Soper.

"From this test, the clinician will be able to determine the stage of the disease, what type of drug will best treat the and goes into remission," he said.

High levels of circulating cells are linked with more and worse outcomes, so a sensitive test is vital for assessing the state of the disease in a patient and devising the most effective therapy.

"The chip we are using, because it is made from a plastic, can be injection molded, the same method that is used to produce CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs," Soper said.

"What is really nice is we can produce these chips for a couple of dollars per chip, which makes it really appropriate for testing in a clinical setting," he said.

The technology could have applications across many cancers, making diagnostics easier for patients and clinicians, and helping in more tailored therapies that could improve patient outcomes, researchers said.

First Published: Sun, April 22 2018. 01:07 IST
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