What do we need to make circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) a routine diagnostic test in lung cancer?
AffiliationDepartment of Medical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
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AbstractThe gold standard test for detection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation is to genotype somatic DNA extracted from a tissue biopsy or cytology specimen. Yet, in at least 20% of patients this is not possible for various reasons including insufficient availability of neoplastic tissue, lack of fitness of the available tissue for a biopsy or that a biopsy is not technically feasible. Consequently, there has been intense investigation of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), released into the plasma fraction of blood from cancer cells during apoptosis/necrosis, as a minimally invasive 'liquid biopsy' and surrogate for cancer tissue. In 2014, the license for the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI), gefitinib, was updated to allow the use of plasma to determine EGFR mutation status in patients where tissue was not available. Then in 2016 the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved the first companion diagnostic plasma EGFR test. Herein, we review the evidence for ctDNA as a diagnostic in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and describe steps needed to incorporate such 'liquid biopsies' into everyday routine practice.
CitationWhat do we need to make circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) a routine diagnostic test in lung cancer? 2017, 81:66-73 Eur J Cancer
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care