TGen develops quality-control test for detecting cancer in blood
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PHOENIX, Ariz. — May 9, 2018 — Imagine how much patients could benefit if you could discover the presence of cancer, and even how that cancer develops over time, with a simple blood test.

There is vast potential in precision-medicine methods of both detecting and monitoring disease by looking for indications of cancer mutations in cell-free DNA (cfDNA), found floating in the blood. However, there are many factors that can significantly alter these samples as they are collected and analyzed.

To help evaluate and ensure the quality of these molecular biomarkers, a scientific team led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has devised a rapid test — a droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assay — so these samples can be used to help determine the presence and progression of disease.

This new test has shown promising results in helping evaluate cfDNA biomarkers in several cancer types, including melanoma, cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer), rectal cancer and breast cancer, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

“In order for us to rely on sequencing results and evidence of cancer mutations from these samples and to make valid recommendations for treating physicians, we must ensure they have been

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