UCLA researchers received a $6 million grant to refine a liquid biopsy blood test for early, accurate lung cancer detection and treatment guidance.
Researchers at UCLA received a $6 million grant to work on a special blood test called a liquid biopsy. This blood test is designed to detect lung cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. The test will look for pieces of DNA from tumors that are circulating in the bloodstream. Finding this tumor DNA could allow doctors to diagnose lung cancer sooner.
The UCLA team will use the grant money to make their liquid biopsy test more accurate. They want to improve the test’s ability to pinpoint which DNA fragments come from lung tumors versus other sources. They will also develop new computational methods to analyze the blood test results. This could help predict whether lung nodules spotted on scans will become cancerous. The researchers ultimately hope their enhanced liquid biopsy will allow early lung cancer detection from just a blood draw. This less invasive approach could then guide lung cancer screening and treatment decisions.
More research is still needed, but the funding aims to move this liquid biopsy blood test closer to widespread clinical use and improve outcomes. Its accuracy in finding early signs of lung cancer from blood samples still needs improvement.