Viewpoint: Blood tests for cancer would be ‘less invasive, less expensive, less traumatic’

3-24-2019 michigan med l liquid biopsy
Image credit: University of Michigan

Eleven years ago, I was shocked to be diagnosed with advanced lymphoma. To offer an informed second opinion, an oncologist recommended that I have a standard-of-care CT-guided thoracic biopsy. The goal was to collect a tissue sample from one of the nodules on my lung.

I hope I never have to undergo a biopsy like that again. It’s why I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of what are being called liquid biopsies. These are essentially blood tests used to collect a sample of cancer cells or pieces of DNA from them.

The complications [of traditional biopsies], which included a collapsed lung, pulmonary hemorrhage, infection and, in rare cases, being admitted to the hospital or dying, sounded scary for a biopsy.

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[I] wish there was a faster, less invasive, less expensive, less traumatic way of collecting tissue.

I imagine what would have happened if I could have had a liquid biopsy instead of the traditional one: no overnight fast or trip to New York. Less (or no) time off from work for me and my care partner. No panic attack, no partially collapsed lung, no pain or coughing up blood.

Read full, original post: Liquid biopsy research should include the perspectives of patients like me

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