Blood test detects childhood tumors based on their epigenetic profiles

Blood test detects childhood tumors based on their epigenetic profiles

A new study exploits the characteristic epigenetic signatures of childhood tumors to detect, classify and monitor the disease. The scientists analyzed short fragments of tumor DNA that are circulating in the blood. These "liquid biopsy" analyses exploit the unique epigenetic landscape of bone tumors and do not depend on any genetic alterations, which are rare in childhood cancers. This approach promises to improve personalized diagnostics and, possibly, future therapies of childhood tumors such as Ewing sarcoma. The study has been published in Nature Communications.

Extracting tumor epigenetics from blood (© Tatjana Hirschmugl)