Dr. Crompton on the Potential for Liquid Biopsies in Pediatric Sarcomas

Brian D. Crompton, MD
Published: Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018



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

Currently, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and genomic profiling are done in pediatric patients with sarcoma via tissue biopsies. Although this standard is sufficient, it is limited to the part of the body in which the tissue is taken from. In pediatric sarcoma, ctDNA can release tumor cells into the bloodstream, making liquid biopsy a potentially superior method of detection. This method has not been proven to work yet, Crompton says, but if it is confirmed to be effective, liquid biopsies may allow for easier enrollment on clinical trials. It might even bypass the need for patients with recurring disease to get a surgical procedure to verify the presence of disease.

Although these answers are about 5 years down the road, 5 years ago the idea of a liquid biopsy was thought to be impossible, Crompton says. The explosion of technology and new techniques that are available to scientists all over the world now makes this an exciting time in pediatric sarcoma, he concludes.
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Brian D. Crompton, MD, physician, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, discusses the potential of liquid biopsies in the treatment of pediatric patients with sarcoma.

Currently, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and genomic profiling are done in pediatric patients with sarcoma via tissue biopsies. Although this standard is sufficient, it is limited to the part of the body in which the tissue is taken from. In pediatric sarcoma, ctDNA can release tumor cells into the bloodstream, making liquid biopsy a potentially superior method of detection. This method has not been proven to work yet, Crompton says, but if it is confirmed to be effective, liquid biopsies may allow for easier enrollment on clinical trials. It might even bypass the need for patients with recurring disease to get a surgical procedure to verify the presence of disease.

Although these answers are about 5 years down the road, 5 years ago the idea of a liquid biopsy was thought to be impossible, Crompton says. The explosion of technology and new techniques that are available to scientists all over the world now makes this an exciting time in pediatric sarcoma, he concludes.

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