Stanford University physician-scientists have developed a new method to detect solid tumors by simply drawing blood from patients. This new technique can detect solid tumors within a physiological system with precise sensitivity. "We set out to develop a method that overcomes two major hurdles in the circulating tumor DNA field," said Maximilian Diehn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology. "First, the technique needs to be very sensitive to detect the very small amounts of tumor DNA present in the blood. Second, to be clinically useful it's necessary to have a test that works off the shelf for the majority of patients with a given cancer." The brilliant techniques engineered to analyze DNA portions representative of cancerous tumors are discussed in the authors upcoming publication in Nature Medicine.