At Stanford Health Care, we believe medical innovation shouldn’t be limited to only the most severe lung conditions. From developing new technologies for the treatment of lung cancer, to using new ways to control asthma, our doctors are here to diagnose and treat your lung condition, no matter what state of health you’re in.
Researchers at Stanford have developed a new, noninvasive way to monitor the performance of cancer treatments, all from a simple blood draw. Known as liquid biopsy, this technology helps target cancer treatments more precisely by detecting circulating tumor DNA—small pieces of DNA released by dying tumor cells—in a blood sample. Mutations in tumor cell DNA provide a specific cancer biomarker that helps our doctors improve treatment accuracy using targeted therapies that attack specific cells while sparing healthy tissue.
Liquid biopsies are currently being used to enhance the treatment of several types of cancer including lung cancer, lymphomas and other tumors. They provide an efficient way to study how tumors change over time, and indicate when and how to change therapies as tumors evolve resistance to previous drugs. Liquid biopsies help our doctors refine their understanding of the cancer and a patient’s individualized response to treatment.
While liquid biopsies are not a substitute for an initial tissue biopsy, which is necessary for an accurate diagnosis, they do have the ability to transform cancer care.