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Biopsies for the diagnosis of cancer are usually invasive and potentially dangerous. In addition, there’s no guarantee that this method will even result in a sample of tumor cells, due to the heterogeneity of tumors.

In today’s episode, Chamindie Punyadeera from the Queensland University of Technology discusses a new non-invasive tool called a liquid biopsy to detect early cardiovascular disease and three types of cancers. Rather than relying upon a sample of tumor tissue retrieved through biopsy, this new tool uses saliva or blood.

This is a cost-effective and less dangerous process for the patient, and it eliminates the chances of missing cancer cells that are there, but just weren’t accessed by the needle. This method makes early detection of cancer in the premalignant stage possible, as well as the stratification of patients at diagnosis to determine the stage of cancer.

Tune in for all the details on this and more, including:

  • What cell-free DNA is, where it’s found, and how it can provide valuable information for cancer patients
  • How biomarkers in saliva may be used to identify patients at high risk of heart failure (such as those suffering from type 2 diabetes or obesity)
  • How this research will impact human health and medicine in the coming years
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