€1.4 million for liquid biopsy to detect cancer

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The IWT (Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology) granted 1,4 million euros to Biocartis to support the development of a liquid biopsy diagnostic test for melanoma and colorectal cancer and to improve liquid biopsy methodologies. Fragments of tumor DNA can be found in the bodily fluids such as blood and urine. Diagnostic tests are now being developed to detect these circulating DNA fragments in bodily fluids. These tests are non-invasive, can be performed repetitively and at any time. Also, other cancer-specific genetic material from other cell compounds, potentially present in the blood can be used for diagnosis. The grant fits in a project called “Early Diagnosis by Easy Sampling”, that is supported by a collaboration between PharmaFluidics (spin-off of the VUB), RIC (Research Institute for Chromatography), UZA and VITO. Rudi Pauwels, CEO of Biocartis, added: “Liquid biopsy offers huge diagnostic and treatment benefits. It serves society with an improved healthcare outcome, at an affordable price and compatible with sustainable healthcare.”