Dr. Crompton Discusses Liquid Biopsies in Pediatric Sarcoma

Brian D. Crompton, MD
Published: Thursday, May 03, 2018



Brian D. Crompton, MD, physician, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, discusses the utilization of liquid biopsies in pediatric patients with sarcoma.

Pediatric tumors release circulating tumor DNA, as well as circulating tumor cells in some cases. If these samples are selected by a blood draw, a liquid biopsy can identify the circulating tumor DNA by detecting the mutations that are present in the tumor. Crompton says that this will help clinicians better understand the mutation pattern in patients who have multiple sites of disease.

It is important to understand the mutational spectrum across all the tumors in a patient with multiple sites of disease, Crompton explains, but a tissue biopsy only provides information on the particular spot sampled. There might not be targetable mutations in the chosen tissue biopsy site, so clinicians can miss an opportunity to integrate treatment, or they may only administer a treatment that targets that one tumor, missing the other sites completely. With a liquid biopsy, information from the circulating tumor DNA may have the potential to guide treatment.


Brian D. Crompton, MD, physician, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, discusses the utilization of liquid biopsies in pediatric patients with sarcoma.

Pediatric tumors release circulating tumor DNA, as well as circulating tumor cells in some cases. If these samples are selected by a blood draw, a liquid biopsy can identify the circulating tumor DNA by detecting the mutations that are present in the tumor. Crompton says that this will help clinicians better understand the mutation pattern in patients who have multiple sites of disease.

It is important to understand the mutational spectrum across all the tumors in a patient with multiple sites of disease, Crompton explains, but a tissue biopsy only provides information on the particular spot sampled. There might not be targetable mutations in the chosen tissue biopsy site, so clinicians can miss an opportunity to integrate treatment, or they may only administer a treatment that targets that one tumor, missing the other sites completely. With a liquid biopsy, information from the circulating tumor DNA may have the potential to guide treatment.



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