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January 09, 2020 Thursday 03:09:21 PM IST

'Liquid Biopsy' to Detect Cancer

Science Innovations

Researchers at University of Illinois have developed a method to detect cancer using a small sample of blood or serum rather than the invasive tissue sampling routinely used for diagnosis. They have developed a method to capture and count cancer-associated microRNAs, or tiny bits of messenger molecules that are excluded from cells and can be detected in blood or serum, with single-molecule resolution. The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“Cancer cells contain gene mutations that enable them to proliferate out of control and to evade the immune system, and some of those mutations turn up in microRNAs,” said study leader Brian Cunningham, an Illinois professor of electrical and computer engineering. Cunningham also directs the Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Lab at Illinois.

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