Researchers Develop Liquid Biopsy Technique To Detect Cancer In Blood

Recently, researchers developed liquid biopsy technique to detect cancer in the blood. Here's everything you should know. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Jul 19, 2022Updated at: Jul 19, 2022
Researchers Develop Liquid Biopsy Technique To Detect Cancer In Blood

University of Central Florida researchers have discovered a new method to spot metastatic cancer cells in the body which can further help in diagnosing cancer at an early stage and provide patients with more ways to treat the deadly disease in future. According to the recent issue of PLOS ONE, Dr. Annette Khaled's research lab reported a protein complex called chaperonin as a new detection technique for cancer cells in the blood. It basically provides a better analysis of spreading cancer. By using the new liquid biopsy procedure, UCF scientists were able to detect more cancer cells in the blood,  which can help breast and lung cancer patients to keep a check on their disease in a better way.

Chaperonin: a new marker for cancer cells in blood 

Cancer cells require many proteins to stay alive and travel in the body. The chaperonin complex makes these proteins turn into functional, three-dimensional shapes. Cancer cells cannot form without the complex and important proteins. All the cells contain chaperonin complex. However, cancer cells have quite higher requirement levels and Dr. Khaled said, "cancer cells are hungry for protein." In the last few years, Dr. Khaled identified the chaperonin complex as a significant indicator of a cancer's severity and has developed nanoparticle-based therapies to seek out the chaperonin complex in cancer cells and destroy it. Without this protein-folding mechanism, cancer cells starve and die. 

liquid biopsy

Dr. Khaled said, "The more complex the chaperonin, the more advanced cancer." She further explained, "We get a warning that the cancer is spreading when we use the chaperonin complex to detect cancer cells in the blood. Detecting cancer cells in blood using the chaperonin complex is a novel non-invasive diagnosis method." Markers to detect cancer cells in the blood mostly depends on epithelial features in cells that line surfaces of the body from which cancers develop. However, these markers to detect cancer cells in the blood are "generic," Dr. Khaled stated, "and provide little information about the cancer itself."

Also read: New Blood Test For Cancer Detection: How Does It Work?

Dr. Khaled, Division of Cancer Research Director at the College of Medicine started her research with the usage of blood and tissues from patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer getting treatment at Orlando Health's UF Cancer Center to note if the chaperonin complex was better than previously used markers for detecting cancer cells in the blood. After that, she verified this idea by using blood from patients with lung cancer, discovering that chaperonin complex detected more lung cancer cells than other liquid biopsy methods.