AffiliationCRUK Manchester Institute Biomarker Sciences Centre, Manchester
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AbstractLiquid biopsies are increasingly being used in clinical studies as prognostic, predictive, and pharmacodynamics biomarkers, as surrogates of tumor response, to detect minimal residual disease after treatment with curative intent and to inform on mechanisms of treatment resistance and treatment switching. There is also steady progress in the development of liquid biopsies for early detection of cancers. The advantages of liquid biopsies are that they are minimally invasive and readily repeatable. The liquid biopsy that has been most widely adopted is circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as it is readily measured without specialist equipment in most molecular biology laboratories. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are technically more challenging and have yet to realize their full potential as biomarkers in clinic. However, CTC technology is constantly improving, and CTCs have several exciting applications beyond ctDNA that, once optimized, will assist personalized cancer medicine, including their use as cultures for real-time therapy testing and their utility, in some cancer types, to derive mouse models. I will discuss the use of CTCs from patients with lung cancer in this presentation. CTCs in both non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and SCLC enumerated by CellSearch (EpCAM and cytokerin positive, CD45 negative) hold prognostic information. However, while CellSearch CTCs are scarce in NSCLC, most likely due to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that leads to downrgulation of the EpCAM surface marker used to capture them for enumeration, they are prevalent in SCLC. Single CTC copy number analysis has led to the development of classifier that, with further validation studies, could predict response to chemotherapy alongside ctDNA analysis for therapy monitoring. We have exploited SCLC CTC prevalence to derive mouse models in immune-incompetent mice (termed CDX) that allow us to explore biology and test new therapeutics. I will also update on our research using our biobank of 46 CDX models, exploring inter and intratumoral heterogeneity. The most important aspect of this approach is the ability to generate pre- and post-therapy CDX models allowing interrogation of therapy resistance mechanisms and the biology of progressing disease in a tumor type where tumor evolution is rapid and where serial tumor biopsies are rarely obtained. I will also describe our approaches to study mechanisms of tumor dissemination, including vasculogenic mimicry and new models of brain metastasis. More recently, we are developing direct CTC cultures that may allow real-time therapy testing with reporting to the clinic. I will report on our NSCLC CTC studies within the UK TRACERx consortium to study tumor evolution. We have explored the potential of CTCs found in the pulmonary draining vein of stage I-IIIa patients at surgery with curative intent to predict risk of disease recurrence and shown in a case study that a lethal subclone that gives rise to metastasis 10 months later was identified in the pulmonary vein at surgery. In summary, this presentation will exemplify utility of CTCs in lung cancer that are distinct from but complement the implementation of ctDNA.
CitationDive C. Multiple uses of circulating tumor cells in lung cancer? Clinical Cancer Research. 2020;26(11).
JournalClinical Cancer Research
PubMed IDNo PMID
TypeMeetings and Proceedings