Oncology: Cancer Spotter

In cancer, early detection is key. David Sidransky is giving doctors the tools to catch tumors long before symptoms appear

To most of us, blood, urine and saliva are just unsightly bodily fluids to be disposed of as quickly as possible. But to David Sidransky, they are valuable sources of biological information that can be mined for nuggets of potentially life-saving data.

Sidransky, a cancer specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, is particularly interested in what these fluids reveal about a patient's risk of developing cancer. The best-known of today's cancer-screening tests, the PSA for prostate cancer, is at most 70% accurate in picking up tumors. Sidransky is pioneering a new generation of tests that can detect cancer more accurately and at...

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