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Ed Sheeran

Blood test checks cancer cures

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Maori cancer patients in rural areas could benefit from a new blood test that determines whether their treatment is working.

University of Otago Professor of Biochemistry Parry Guilford is working on a test that would detect DNA that spills out from cancerous tumours and into the blood stream.

He says it could provide a useful measure of whether or not a cancerous tumour is growing or shrinking without having to wait for a scan or -ray which may ony be availbale from a larger hopital.

The DNA blood sampling method is widely used by researchers internationally, and Professor Guilford has been working to adapt the technology to New Zealand conditions, and trying to reduce the cost to make it accessible for all patients.

He says the new method could be critical in improving health inequities facing Maori and those in isolated parts of the country because it takes surveillance of patients in treatment away from hospitals and out to the communities.

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