Israeli researchers develop method to diagnose diseases with simple blood test
The new test is intended to replace biopsies and other invasive tests for detecting cancers, heart and liver diseases, inflammation, and immune system problems, the HUJI said.
Besides pain, biopsy is not effective in many cases, because it can not always reach the diseased cell and sometimes it is carried out only at a late stage of the disease.
Existing methods of blood tests, based on examination of DNA segments in the blood, may diagnose the presence of a disease, but not its type, location and stage.
However, in a new study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, HUJI researchers have developed the non-invasive method that can identify the type of disease or tumor, location, and the stage of the disease.
The method also identifies differences between patients suffering from the same cancerous tumor, which can lead to tailored treatments for each patient.
The new method not only examines the DNA in the blood, originating from dead cells, but also identifies the cells' tissue and the genes that were active in those cells.
Because the method detects at once all the active genes in dead cells, it can diagnose a wide range of processes and diseases in a single testing.
"This routine blood test can be performed frequently, thus allowing doctors to continuously monitor the progression of the disease," the researchers concluded.