In an article in the USA Today of March 13, 2013, reporter Liz Szabo directs attention to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Szabo says that the small study suggests that doctors can measure circulating tumor DNA in women with advanced breast cancer in order to refine treatment. This measurement may be superior to CT scans and other tests that are currently used to detect when a patient is no longer benefiting from treatment and when a change in treatment may be necessary. Szabo quotes experts who say this research may provide a “window into the future” for breast cancer research and treatment.
The original research article about circulating DNA published in the New England Journal of Medicine is available online without subscription. An accompanying editorial by Marc Lippman and Kent Osborne is also available.