Liquid Biopsy to Fight Cancer

Desert Dx

To lower the need for invasive procedures, Dr. Bernard Futscher, professor of pharmacy, and Dr. Lukas Vrba, assistant research scientist at the UArizona Cancer Center, have combined the latest discoveries in epigenetics with new methods in informatics to create a new breed of “liquid biopsy” – a blood test for screening, detecting and monitoring cancers. The technique utilizes the analysis of biological markers within the bloodstream with advanced data-processing to detect and quantify cancer cells. Initial testing and results have revealed promising results with detection of early stage non-small lung cancer. In 2018, the researchers launched the startup, DesertDx, to commercialize the technology and bring the invention to doctors and their patients.

Project Investigators: