Cutting edge test could detect early cancer recurrence

The new test could catch a tumor recurrence as early as two years before it shows up on a scan.
2:59 | 06/10/21

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Transcript for Cutting edge test could detect early cancer recurrence
shift gears here to our "Gma" cover story. A potential breakthrough in detecting cancer. The new test that could catch a tumor recurrence as early as two years before it shows up on a scan and will reeve is back with details. Good morning again, will. Reporter: Good morning, Michael. Three of the scariest words anyone can hear, you have cancer. Three maybe scarier, it's come back. Now hope in the form of a new screening that is winning the battle in the fight against recurrence. It's being called a rapid game changer in cancer management, a personalized tumor informed blood test called signatera available for those with certain types of cancer and detects ct-dna in the blood. It has indications that led to the uncontrolled cell growth that became the cancer and by virtue of analyzing a sample of the tumor from the patient we actually know what the mutations are in that cancer and know exactly what we're looking for when we go analyzing the blood Reporter: Once a unique fingerprint is identified a personalized blood test is created that's unique to that person's cancer. It only works for solid cancers including lung, colon, bladder and breast cancer and has proven to detect disease recurrence at the microscopic level much earlier than can be picked up on a scan. In some cancers up to two years earlier. We've seen very consistently that if we do detect a positive test result we detect tumor DNA, the chances of the cancer recurring if the patient does not receive any additional treatment is north of 97%. Having that inside information, that huge heads-up can be the difference between life and death. Reporter: Breast cancer surgeon Dr. Kristi funk has been using it for the past six months. It's so empowering to get a negative test but if you get a positive one and you know that you can intervene early at the earliest possible moment in time to eradicate a potential stage 4 recurrence that's also empowering. Reporter: Dr. Funk's patient says the test has been life I actually just was laying in bed and just went like this to brush my hair off my chest and felt a lump. Reporter: At 32 she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in 2019. I'm able now to take a test and see if there are active tumor cells in my body and if it did come back there's maybe something I can do to get ahold of it. Reporter: Mariel is doing well and will take it every three months until she hits the three-year mark. After that she's not sure. Probably every six month, all to be determined but right now says she has the greatest gift anyone can get, peace of mind. Michael. Yep, that is the greatest gift you can get, will, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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