“This is like a liquid biopsy”

A blood test so sensitive that it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones is moving one step closer to being available at your doctor’s office…

Doctors can give a drug one day and sample blood the next day to see if the circulating tumor cells are gone, he explained.

The test uses a microchip that resembles a lab slide covered in 78,000 tiny posts, like bristles on a hairbrush. The posts are coated with antibodies that bind to tumor cells. When blood is forced across the chip, cells ping off the posts like balls in a pinball machine. The cancer cells stick, and stains make them glow so researchers can count and capture them for study.