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As the cost of sequencing tests continues to decrease, Mr Best expects the cost of thromboSeq to decrease as well.

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“Ultimately, the aim of liquid biopsy–based cancer detection is to detect all cancers at once in an early stage; an ‘all-in-one’ test,” he explained. “Such a simple, minimally invasive, and easy-to-perform blood test that screens for any type of cancer will potentially increase the compliance rate for cancer screening, and might result in a possible stage shift for cancer.”

According to Mr Best, the thromboSeq test result might not only provide information regarding lung cancer diagnostics, but potentially any other tumor types as well, and may enable tumor-type stratification.

“Although the TEP blood test does not, so far, provide perfect predictions, it may complement alternative liquid biopsy biosources, such as cell-free DNA, extracellular vesicles, circulating proteins, and circulating tumor cells, and/or imaging modalities such as CT,” Mr Best said. “We believe that a readout of combined blood-based biosources and highly accurate imaging ultimately results in the highest test performance to detect cancer early, with the lowest false-positive detection rates.”

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Mr Best and his colleagues expect that screening of cancer using methods such as mammography, stool tests, PSA levels, or, as in this case, lung CT, might be complemented by a blood test.

“Blood platelets can easily and routinely be collected via venipuncture and isolated by use of a centrifugation and a couple of pipetting steps,” he said. “This isolation procedure might be performed in any clinical laboratory, thereby facilitating the local implementation of such a protocol.”


1.       Best MG, Sol N, In ‘t Veld SGJG, et al. Swarm intelligence-enhanced detection of non-small cell lung cancer using tumor-educated platelets. Cancer Cell.2017;32:238-52.

2.       Best MG, Sol N, Kooi I, et al. RNA-seq of tumor-educated platelets enables blood-based pan-cancer, multiclass, and molecular pathway cancer diagnostics. Cancer Cell. 2015;28:666-76.