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Health Spotlight: Liquid biopsy for metastatic cancer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Metastatic cancer spreads from a tumor to other parts of the body.

Each year, metastatic cancer accounts for up to 90% of cancer-related deaths in the United States. This motivated Dr. Annette Khaled, a researcher with the University of Central Florida, to develop an innovative way to track the cell and stop the cancer in it’s tracks.

Khaled and her colleagues are working to fix this by using a new method called liquid biopsy, where they take any body fluid (such as blood, urine, or saliva) and check for tumor cell shedding.

Cancer cells that shed into blood can come from any part of the tumor. The chaperonin complex, which finds dangerous cancer cells circulating in blood, could not only alert doctors that a patient is relapsing or not responding to treatments, but it could also help pick up cancers before they begin to spread.

The UCF research team used the FDA-approved CELLSEARCH system. This system can isolate, photograph, and count cancer cells from a single tube of blood, and was adapted for detection of the Chaperonin complex in blood cells.

This story was created from script aired on WISH-TV.