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Medicine & Health

Early Detection and Minimal Residual Disease

Curated Collections

Despite considerable advances in cancer genomics, direct benefits for patients in the clinic have been slow to come thus far from this area of research. Opportunities to advance patient care include those linked with the development of new technologies for early tumor detection, and translational and clinical research in the areas of early detection, such as the detection of minimal residual disease, hold promise for improving patient outcomes.

Circulating tumor DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream has been shown to be a potent liquid biomarker of cancer. In this special issue, Aadel Chaudhuri, Angela Hirbe, Jack Shern and colleagues utilize circulating tumor DNA detected in blood plasma to distinguish between neurofibromatosis patients with frank malignancy (in this case malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor) and those harboring only the benign precursor lesion.

The editors at PLOS Medicine are delighted to present this work and other articles in this special issue, which have the potential to usher in new technologies for earlier cancer detection, which could facilitate earlier diagnosis and better survival for cancer patients worldwide.

Image Credit: Aadel Chaudhuri, Angela Hirbe, Jack Shern, Jeff Szymanski, Taylor Sundby, DrawImpacts

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