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Among the many anxiety-inducing issues faced by cancer patients is the question of whether the disease will return. The fathers of a new field of cancer diagnostics, known as liquid biopsies, have a test in the works that could give patients answers.

Liquid biopsies are blood tests that can be taken during routine doctors’ visits to detect unique signs of cancer. Most of the tests are designed with the goal of sussing out early signs of cancer, before the disease has begun spreading and wreaking havoc in the body — a pursuit that’s been called “long-sought holy grail of oncology.”

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