Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases affecting humans and is also ranked as one of the highest killer diseases. Since there is no specific drug that cures it, surgery has been used as a standard procedure in treating early forms of cancer to remove the tumors. However, in its advanced stages, chemotherapy always comes in to salvage the situation, though surgery is ever taken as a precaution to prevent cancer from recurring once it has been treated. Many patients have been subjected to chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer, but they never needed it in the real sense.
Benefits and dangers of chemotherapy
Chemotherapy can be unpleasant and dangerous though it can be improved. Groups of researchers are trying to improve the situation to come up with better ways of treating cancer. Researchers are coming up with a blood test that could determine if the patient has the risk of having a recurrence of cancer. While chemotherapy is an essential and life-saving treatment to cancer, patients should not receive it unnecessarily. Avoiding unnecessary chemotherapy will help reduce the severe ongoing side effects associated with it.
The new cancer blood test
The test works by identifying the circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), which are the DNA fragments released by the tumor into the blood. The test helps patients avoid undergoing chemotherapy as it will indicate whether the patient has little or no ctDNA in their blood system. The absence of the ctDNA will suggest that the patient is at low risk of cancer relapse hence should not be subjected to chemotherapy.
The test will also bring a sigh of relief to cancer patients since initially, there was no reliable test that could indicate that a patient could have cancer recurrence risks. When patients are informed that they are at low chance, they will have peace of mind knowing they will not be subjected to chemotherapy.
The new cancer test is under trial to fully determine its effects and seal any gaps in case there are any. The test has so far been done on around 400 cancer patients, and the researchers are hoping that the number will increase as time goes by. The cancer blood test will be extended in testing other types of cancer, such as ovarian and bowel cancer, and the researchers are hoping to conclude the trials by early 2021. If all these trials are successful, chemotherapy will be a thing of the past and will only be used in unavoidable and crucial circumstances.
The possibility of giving patients treatment that they don’t really need may explain why entities like Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) go to great lengths before bringing a new solution to the market.
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