We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us


Develops, manufactures, and markets molecular systems and tests for institutions to perform sophisticated genetic tes... read more Featured Products: More products

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Automated Liquid Biopsy Test Detects Advanced Breast Cancer in Five Hours

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Jun 2022
Print article
Image: Automated liquid biopsy test quickly IDs cancer DNA in patients with metastatic breast cancer (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins)
Image: Automated liquid biopsy test quickly IDs cancer DNA in patients with metastatic breast cancer (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins)

Many patients with breast cancer do not respond to chemotherapy but go through multiple cycles of treatment before oncology teams can perform imaging studies to determine if a treatment is effective. Imaging can be effective at detecting changes in larger tumors, but it is nearly impossible to identify changes in smaller tumors. Now, a novel, automated liquid biopsy test in development can accurately detect the presence of cancer DNA in the blood of patients with metastatic breast cancer within five hours. The test, currently a prototype for research use only, potentially could be used to quickly help oncologists determine if cancer treatments are working.

The test, called the Liquid Biopsy for Breast Cancer Methylation (LBx-BCM), has been developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore, MD, USA) and is compatible with the GeneXpert molecular testing platform from Cepheid (Sunnyvale, CA, USA). It can detect methylation, a type of chemical tag, in one or more of nine genes altered in breast cancers in 4.5 hours. The test requires less than 15 minutes of hands-on time by a laboratory technician.

With the LBx-BCM test, a technician can place blood or plasma samples from cancer patients in tubes containing a reagent, a mixture used for extracting DNA, and place the contents in cartridges for the commercial system to chemically modify the DNA, and then amplify and detect methylated genes, returning results quickly. The assay looks for methylation markers (chemical alterations to DNA particular to cancer cells) among a panel of nine genes that recognize the four subtypes of breast cancer. The genes are AKR1B1, TM6SF1, ZNF671, TMEFF2, COL6A2, HIST1H3C, RASGRF2, HOXB4 and RASSF1.

To test LBx-BCM, investigators first had two individuals run the test on separate days, using stored samples from 11 patients with metastatic breast cancer and four without breast cancer. Results were the same for more than 90% of the cases. They also studied the test’s ability to detect metastatic breast cancer in two sets of samples from previous studies at Johns Hopkins. They examined cumulative methylation of the nine genes in 20 serum samples from patients with metastatic breast cancer and 20 from people without breast cancer.

A second set of samples from 40 people with metastatic breast cancer, 17 with benign breast disease and nine without breast cancer, was analyzed. In both sets, LBx-BCM detected two- to 200-fold more methylated DNA in plasma samples from those with breast cancer than in normal or benign samples. The test was found to correctly detect cancer 83% of the time, and correctly rule out cancer 92% of the time, for an overall diagnostic accuracy of 85%.

“Our goal was to develop an assay that would be sophisticated yet simple to perform worldwide and could be used at the point of care to provide same-day feedback to clinicians and patients,” said senior study author Saraswati Sukumar, Ph.D., professor of oncology and pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “If we are able to show by this cartridge assay that we are indeed successful in predicting the course of treatment, we might be able to institute changes in the way we look at chemotherapy and the way we treat patients for metastatic breast cancer.”

Related Links:
Johns Hopkins Medicine 

Unit-Dose Twist-Tip BFS
Gold Supplier
Rheumatoid Factors (RF) Test
Rheumatoid Factors (RF)
Auto Clinical Chemistry Analyzer
ChemiLab 100
3 Part Diff Auto Hematology Analyzer

Print article


Clinical Chem.

view channel
Image: Electrochemical cells etched by laser on wooden tongue depressor measure glucose and nitrite in saliva (Photo courtesy of Analytical Chemistry)

Biosensor-Fabricated Wooden Tongue Depressor Measures Glucose and Nitrite in Saliva

Physicians often use tongue depressors to examine a patient's mouth and throat. However, it is hard to imagine that this simple wooden tool could actively assess a patient's health. This idea has led to... Read more


view channel
Image: The Atellica HEMA 570 and 580 hematology analyzers remove workflow barriers (Photo courtesy of Siemens)

Next-Gen Hematology Analyzers Eliminate Workflow Roadblocks and Achieve Fast Throughput

Hematology testing is a critical aspect of patient care, utilized to establish a patient's health baseline, track treatment progress, or guide timely modifications to care. However, increasing constraints... Read more


view channel
Image: The first ever diagnostic test accurately predicts patient response to immunotherapy (Photo courtesy of Cofactor)

Immunotherapy Predictive Test Could Spare Cancer Patients from Unnecessary Chemotherapy

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in clinical trials for new cancer drugs. However, only a select group of patients have found success with these newer immunotherapies, which utilize... Read more


view channel
Image: New method reveals bacterial reaction to antibiotics within minutes (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

New Method to Reveal Bacterial Reaction to Antibiotics in Five Minutes Could Help Create Rapid Molecular Test

Severely sick patients suffering from bacterial infections often require immediate treatment to prevent serious health complications, making it vital for physicians to quickly identify the appropriate antibiotic.... Read more


view channel
Image: navify digital solutions can helping labs mitigate unique quality challenges (Photo courtesy of Roche)

Cloud-Based Digital Solution Allows Labs to Track Test Samples along Entire Diagnostic Journey

Diagnosing a disease involves a meticulous procedure of monitoring a patient's diagnostic sample throughout its entire journey, which aids in clinical decision-making. However, there aren't any standardized... Read more


view channel
Electronic biosensor uses DNA aptamers for detecting biomarkers in whole blood samples (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

Electronic Biosensor Detects Biomarkers in Whole Blood Samples without Addition of Reagents

The absence of robust, reliable, and user-friendly bioanalytical tools for early and timely diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases, particularly sudden cardiac arrest, leads to preventable deaths and imposes... Read more


view channel
Image: The global hemostasis diagnostics market is expected to reach USD 3.95 billion by 2025 (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

Global Hemostasis Diagnostics Market Driven by Increase in Invasive Surgical Procedures

Injury or surgery naturally creates bleeding in living beings, which must be stopped to prevent excessive blood loss. The human body implements a protective mechanism known as hemostasis to stop excessive bleeding.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.