A recent study presented at the American Urology Association (AUA) Annual Meeting in Boston last month, described the concept of using tumour DNA that is circulating in the blood stream as a novel biomarker for the diagnosis and surveillance of renal cancer. The collection of tumour DNA from blood is relatively easy and non-invasive; an advantage over traditional renal tumour biopsy methods. This method proved sensitive even in a patient with a 1 cm primary tumour. This method needs to be validated in a larger group of patients, and could potentially be a valuable technique for screening and early detection, surveillance of small renal masses, and post treatment monitoring of renal cancer tumours.

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