Clinical OMICS

JUL-AUG 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 27 of 51

26 Clinical OMICs July/August 2018 Julianna LeMieux Senior Editor Identifying the Methylation Patterns of cfDNA Aids in Identifying Cancer's Origin Eyeing Epigenetic Markers T here will be roughly 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States this year. For each one, the earlier the diagnosis the better. Although some cancers have routine screening methods such as colon cancer, multiple barriers prevent one-third of eligible people from being screened. For many cancers, with no routine screening methods, the cancer is frequently recognized past the point of available treatment options. Taken together, these hurdles make methods to detect cancer in its earliest stage, in as many people as possible, two major goals of cancer research. One of the most exciting areas of development in early cancer detection lies in cell- free DNA (cfDNA). These short fragments of DNA circulate in the blood after being released from cells, including cancerous cells. One way cfDNA can signal the presence of cancer is through genetic variation. Because the DNA sequence in cancer cells has differences from non-cancer cells, those sequence variations, present in cfDNA, can be used to detect the presence of cancer. However, as Kristina Warton Ph.D., a researcher within the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia points Philippe Roy / Getty Images Blood tests may one day provide for routine early screening for the presence of cancer.

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