AACR 2018 — Advances in liquid biopsy technology have many potential applications


  • Oncology Conference Roundups
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Takeaway

  • Advances in liquid biopsy analysis can shed new light on metastasis biology and the therapy-induced selection of cancer cells, help aid diagnostics, and improve the stratification of therapies.

Why this matters

  • The development of more sensitive liquid biopsy assays may create opportunities for multiple applications in the detection, monitoring, and targeting of tumors.

Key points

  • Liquid biopsies analyze both circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and material released by tumor cells in the peripheral blood (ctDNA).
  • Liquid biopsy assays are currently being validated for early detection of cancer.
  • CTCs and ctDNA analyses can obtain independent information on prognosis in early and advanced stages of disease.
  • CTC counts at initial diagnosis can help stratify risk.
  • Sequential ctDNA (or CTC) analysis can aid in early relapse detection and identify therapeutic targets or mechanisms of resistance of metastatic cells in individual patients.
  • Monitoring of CTCs and ctDNA before, during, and after therapy can reveal response to therapy.
  • CTCs may provide information on tumor resistance (androgen receptor variant 7 in prostate cancer, estrogen receptor gene [ESR1] in breast cancer) that may predict therapy success.
  • The development of in vitro and in vivo cell lines and xenografts derived from CTCs might create models for drug testing.