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B.C. researchers hope blood test can personalize cancer treatment

Last Updated Mar 14, 2019 at 11:17 pm PDT

Summary

A tiny blood drop could be used to better predict treatments for people with cancer

Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency say analyzing the DNA in one drop of blood can help them personalize treatment

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –¬†One drop of blood could be the key: B.C. Cancer Agency researchers say a simple blood test may open the door to more personalized care for patients.

The agency says DNA in the blood could be used to predict which drugs may be more effective to treat patients.

“I am here today really because of that,” says Sanja Simic, a cancer survivor who helped fund the project. “I benefitted from some of the latest research that showed a course of treatment that was very effective for someone of my profile, age and disease type and stage and so on.”

Simic is the executive director of the Conconi Family Foundation, which has donated $1.2-million towards the two-year study.

“I’d just turned 30, was not quite ready for cancer to be on my radar or something I had to deal with at that point,” she added. “What was comforting was knowing that there is an A-team here in British Columbia, in the clinic and also in research, and I really benefitted from it.”

Researchers will also be using data from breast cancer patients who have been treated in B.C.

Scientists hope to treat other cancers, like those involving the lungs or colon in the future.