Dr. Levy on Ongoing Research Evaluating the Use of Liquid Biopsies in Lung Cancer

Benjamin P. Levy, MD
Published: Friday, Feb 07, 2020



Benjamin P. Levy, MD, assistant professor of oncology and clinical director of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses ongoing research regarding the use of liquid biopsies in lung cancer.

Liquid and tissue biopsies have good concordance, says Levy. A positive test in a plasma sample can be trusted. However, liquid biopsies may be more than diagnostic and several clinical trials are beginning to evaluate the modality in other settings.

For example, trials are looking at longitudinal assessment in changes of the circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) over time on a therapy to see whether they are reflective of a patient’s outcome, explains Levy. If a patient is put on targeted therapy, ctDNA could be used to monitor the blood over time to identify if any changes are made in a particular mutation. With this information, providers could more accurately assess how the patient is responding to therapy. Additionally, longitudinal assessment is being examined in the post-curative intent setting, concludes Levy.
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Benjamin P. Levy, MD, assistant professor of oncology and clinical director of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses ongoing research regarding the use of liquid biopsies in lung cancer.

Liquid and tissue biopsies have good concordance, says Levy. A positive test in a plasma sample can be trusted. However, liquid biopsies may be more than diagnostic and several clinical trials are beginning to evaluate the modality in other settings.

For example, trials are looking at longitudinal assessment in changes of the circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) over time on a therapy to see whether they are reflective of a patient’s outcome, explains Levy. If a patient is put on targeted therapy, ctDNA could be used to monitor the blood over time to identify if any changes are made in a particular mutation. With this information, providers could more accurately assess how the patient is responding to therapy. Additionally, longitudinal assessment is being examined in the post-curative intent setting, concludes Levy.



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