The canary in the coal mine: Biomaterial implants to monitor cancer recurrence

Matthew T. Wolf, Jennifer H. Elisseeff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthetic biomaterials implanted in the body induce a foreign body reaction characterized by chronic inflammation and fibrosis. In this issue of Cancer Research, Oakes and colleagues used biomaterial implants and their associated immunologic activity to develop a “metastasis sensor” for detection of tumor burden at distal sites. A scoring system was developed from computational analysis of gene expression patterns from implant biopsies that could predict the presence of tumor. This unexpected use of biomaterials for early detection of cancer provides a more accurate systemic sampling compared with blood or liquid biopsies and alleviates the need for inefficient imaging and biopsy sampling from potential metastatic target tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-378
Number of pages2
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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