Liquid Biopsies and Virtual Reality Aim to Help Cancer Research and Treatment
July 18, 2016 | Finz & Finz, P.C.
Along with the ongoing research to find a cure for cancer, doctors and scientists continue to search for more efficient ways to examine different parts of cancer cells and focus on how certain changes affect the way cancer operates in the body. A new test known as a liquid biopsy, which will help detect a recurrence of cancer, is being used in trials on prostate cancer patients. A virtual reality program is giving doctors an opportunity to observe cancer protein structures in an effort to find the best treatment possible for cancer patients.
In most cases, tumors are tested through a biopsy to detect the presence of cancer. Liquid biopsies are a blood test designed to find specific cell mutations related to the cancer which was already present in the body. So, in the study with men diagnosed with prostate cancer, the blood drawn was analyzed to find the same type of changes in the cells that occurred with the original cancer diagnosis. By finding these cells before tumors form, there is a greater chance of catching a recurrence of cancer at an early, more treatable stage. The hope is also to decrease the need for an MRI or CT scan to detect cancer, since the evidence found in the blood with the liquid biopsy is too small to show up on one of these tests.
While all the talk about virtual reality currently revolves around Pokémon Go, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine are using the technology to construct 3D models of cancer cells that were originally viewed under a microscope. Being able to put on a headset and “move around” the cancer cell allows doctors to see exactly how the mutations in cell cause the specific form of cancer a person has. Instead of looking at numbers and drawings on a piece of paper, doctors would be able to watch how the cancer cell is formed and how it reacts to certain changes in the body. This will give healthcare providers a chance to provide the best treatment possible before the disease spreads. In Australia, researchers were able to reconstruct a breast cancer cell to observe how various drugs are absorbed in an effort to hopefully find more effective treatments.
The medical community is encouraged that these new methods of discovering a cancer relapse and studying how cancer affects our DNA will lead to major progress in fighting the disease over the next five to ten years. Until then, it is vital for doctors to diagnose and treat all forms of cancer at a very early stage for the best results. If you have been a victim of a failure to diagnose cancer or a cancer misdiagnosis that had a major effect on your health and well-being, you need an attorney who will take on the doctors and medical professional who failed you. Don’t delay, call the experienced and compassionate attorneys at the Finz Firm today.
Additional Info: Cancer
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