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UA researchers develop cancer-detecting blood test

TUCSON – When it comes to fighting cancer, early detection is key. Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a blood test that could be the best weapon to win that fight.

“We believe that simple, inexpensive blood tests are really the road to the future for cancer detection and monitoring,” said UA College of Pharmacy professor, Dr. Bernard Futscher.

The researchers developed the startup, DesertDx. The test finds and quantifies the presence of cancer cells in the bloodstream, and can detect most cancers.

“We know cancer is a loss of cell identity, so these markers change,” said Futscher. “We can detect those changes in two teaspoons full of blood sample.”

DesertDX was commercialized with the help of Tech Launch Arizona. The team is working toward clinical trials so they can get the testing into the hands of doctors.

“We hope to be able to offer this test to patients by 2020,” said UA College of Medicine-Tucson professor, Dr. Mark Nelson.

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