Entry for:Perfect Pitch
Science is amazing! Science applied to medicine is allowing us to make progress against one of the world's most horrible afflictions, cancer. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by it.
Incredible new therapies are coming out that are improving many patient outcomes. Unfortunately, far too many patients stop responding to them. Cancer is a complex disease and it constantly evolves, which is the mechanism by which it becomes resistant to therapy. We need better way to monitor how cancer changes. The standard method is to cut people open or drill into bone to detect these changes. That is intrusive, painful and costly.
At the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre we have developed a simple, cheap, noninvasive blood test that can give us information about how a cancer is changing and why it stops responding to therapy. We are getting pretty good at it, and in many cases we can actually detect these changes earlier than traditional methods. Which is fantastic, because the sooner we know resistance is building, we can change therapies and help patients live longer.