The IvyGene test is a blood test which helps identify the presence of cancer. It measures what is known as methylated DNA. The presence of methyl groups, which are a combination of a carbon and three hydrogens (-CH3), at specific sites within the genome are consistent with cancer. Although methylation is a normal process in the body, cancer results in hypermethylation at specific sites. The IvyGene test helps identify the presence of cancer, and also provides a quantitative (numerical) measure of disease. While other DNA tests identify the “likelihood” that cancer will occur, the IvyGene test indicates disease presence at the time of testing.
It should be used in conjunction with diagnostic tests, as it is not intended as a stand-alone test. However, it is an excellent tool in our arsenal to assess response to treatment, and also to monitor for cancer recurrence.