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CSAR lecture: A multi-cancer early detection test - TBC

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Cancers release small fragments of DNA into the blood. These fragments, called ctDNA, can be distinguished from other cell-free DNA and used both to detect cancer and to understand its biology, in effect giving us a blood test for cancer. Implementing such tests poses many problems, particularly if they are to be used as a screening tool in the ostensibly healthy population. The talk will briefly cover the principles behind ctDNA detection before considering how different tests might best be used in cancer care: to detect cancers earlier, to diagnose cancer, to replace scans in monitoring patients and to identify targets for treatment. We will cover clinical trials using ctDNA tests in the NHS and consider where these might take clinical practice in the next decade. We will also consider the barriers to implementation and the potential pitfalls of adopting these tests.

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This talk is part of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) series.

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