New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
April 26, 2018
Progress toward a noninvasive brain tumor biopsy

Gavin Dunn, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator '17-'20), and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, are developing a way to detect brain tumor biomarkers through a simple blood test. Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process. The new groundbreaking, proof-of-concept technique allows biomarkers from a brain tumor to pass through the tough blood-brain barrier into a patient's blood using noninvasive focused ultrasound and some tiny bubbles, potentially eliminating the need for a surgical biopsy. The blood test would reveal the amount of mRNA in the blood, which gives physicians specific information about the tumor that can help with diagnosis and treatment options. He plans to use the technique with immunotherapy, offering precision treatment that targets specific biomarkers in the brain. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.