Liquid biopsies will be routine NHS test for cancer “in under five years”

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 05 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4334
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. The BMJ

Liquid biopsies, which identify the genetic composition of cancer cells from a blood sample, are likely to be standard practice in the NHS within five years and possibly sooner, specialists have predicted.

The use of liquid biopsies will enable doctors to target treatments to a patient’s specific cancer and could save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds by stopping treatments that do not work, said Johann de Bono, regius professor of cancer research at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Speaking at a briefing on liquid biopsies at the Science Media Centre in London on 4 August, de Bono said that the new technology is already …

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