Biden wants cancer-detecting blood tests — scientists say it's not that simple 

President Joe Biden wants to foster research into developing blood tests that detect cancer as part of the Cancer Moonshot program, but scientists say identifying cancer's origins is complicated, The Washington Post reported Sept. 22.

The Moonshot initiative plans to examine how effective blood tests are in early cancer detection, through a four-year pilot study beginning in 2024 that aims to enroll 24,000 patients. A larger trial with 225,000 patients may follow. 

Salil Garg, MD, PhD, a clinical investigator at MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, told the Post the tests would become valuable tools if they are perfected, but there are challenges, as some cancers share similar DNA mutations or may not shed DNA into the bloodstream at all.

"The open question is: In what context is this going to be useful information?" Dr. Garg said. "Very useful information versus not as helpful."

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