New Breakthrough Cancer Test

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - It's a simple blood test to determine if you have cancer much quicker than before...and it could soon be available to people in the Texas Panhandle.

It's a blood test so sensitive it can detect a single cancer cell hiding among billions of healthy cells.

Dr. Seah Lim with Texas Oncology says, "This is a major technological advance. Although we've been able to detect cancer cells in the blood using very sensitive tests for quite some time now, we've never been able to isolate the cancer cell."

The test also means oncologists cal look at the biology of a cancer cell... Allowing them to tailor treatment from the start and determine if it's working along the way.

In addition to those currently being treated, doctors say it's ideal for patients who have already had cancer and want to make sure the cancer hasn't returned.

The test is being used at four major hospitals right now, including M.D. Anderson in Houston.

Pending a positive outcome, which is expected, it should be available in Amarillo after that.