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‘Liquid’ Cancer Test Offers Hope for Alternative to Painful Biopsies
The New York Times

A blood test to detect cancer mutations produced results that generally agree with those of an invasive tumor biopsy, researchers reported, heralding a time when diagnosing cancer and monitoring its progression may become less painful and risky.

The blood tests, known as liquid biopsies, represent one of the hottest trends in oncology. They take advantage of the fact that DNA fragments from tumors can be found in tiny amounts in the blood of patients with cancer.

Researchers hope that such tests can become alternatives to conventional tumor biopsies, in which a piece of the tumor is extracted by needle or by surgery — procedures that can have complications.