Korean researchers have developed a technology to diagnose solid cancer and predict its prognosis only by blood tests.
The research team, led by Professor Kwon Sung-hoon of the Seoul National University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, developed the next-generation liquid biopsy technology, jointly with the team of Professor Han Won-sik of Seoul National University Hospital’s Surgery Department.
According to the researchers, circulating tumor cells in the blood caused by solid cancer have abundant information about solid cancer. Thus, analyzing rare circulating tumor cells in the blood of the cancer patient can diagnose solid cancer or accurately predict the prognosis of the solid cancer patient, they said.
Compared to conventional invasive biopsy, a liquid biopsy allows physicians to run a simple blood test to analyze circulating tumor cells.
|The diagram of single circulating tumor cell isolation analysis technology (Credit: Seoul National University)|
Kwon’s team was able to apply next-generation sequencing (NGS) to isolate single circulating tumor cells from the blood.
Since being developed in 2006, NGS is used not only in biological research areas such as bioengineering, medicine, and pharmacy but in disease diagnosis and medical prescriptions as well.
Utilizing the technology with Professor Kwon’s study results will allow a low-cost genome testing with a simple blood test, diagnose solid cancer, or predict a prognosis, the researchers said.
To apply the study results to the clinical field, Han’s research team tested the universality of the technology by linking information about solid cancer derived from single circulating tumor cells with analyzed circulating tumor cells.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Education (BK 21 Plus Project) supported the study, which was published in the cover of the August issue of Small.
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