“The presence of a tumor or metastasis in a certain body part is often determined through a tissue biopsy. There has to be a better way, we thought – one that is more comfortable for patients. In most organs, the presence of a tumor means that tumor DNA can be found in the blood. We call this the circulating tumor DNA. The heart pumps these materials through the entire body. By taking a vial of blood and analyzing it in the lab, we can determine whether there is a tumor in the body, with greater accuracy than by taking a tissue biopsy. You could perform this procedure before or after surgery. Our research brings a discovery from the lab into clinical practice. It has been amazing to be able to contribute to this, and I hope to continue to do so in my new role. In June, I will head to Stanford, California, where I will be working on a new screening tool for lung cancer patients. ”
Iris will defend her thesis on May 17.
This research was financially supported by the Dutch Cancer Society.