The scientists note that the new technology is years away from use in a clinical setting. However, they note that the knowledge will be useful in developing a micro device to further enable understanding when prostate cancer will metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body.
"Prostate cancer is one of the leading critical illnesses impacting men," according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance and the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org. "We applaud the significant findings from the U.C. Santa Barbara researchers which could be most helpful for diagnosis and follow-ups during treatment of this disease."
Cancer cells found in the blood are thought to be the initiators of metastasis. Although the primary tumor does not kill prostate cancer patients, metastasis does. The researchers noted that, "there is a big focus on understanding what causes the tumor to shed cells into the blood. If you could catch them all, then you could stop metastasis. The first thing is to monitor their appearance."
The breakthrough made by the researchers is in being able to include more markers in order to identify and study unique tumor cells that are different from the main tumor cells.
There were 1.5 million new cancer diagnosis in the United States according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org which tracks health news related to cancer and heart disease.
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