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Imaging can guide whether liquid biopsy will benefit individual glioblastoma patients

Tracking brain cancer with a blood test instead of a surgical biopsy may greatly improve quality of life for glioblastoma (GBM) patients and provide critical information for their care, but it is not feasible in all cases. Now new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center shows brain imaging may be able to predict when a blood test known as a liquid biopsy would or would not produce clinically actionable information, allowing doctors to more efficiently guide patients to the proper next steps in their care. The key is the ability to image two things—the blood brain barrier and a type of immune cell called macrophages—which, this study found, correlate with the amount of circulating DNA in the bloodstream. The journal Neuro-Oncology Advances published the findings today.

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