Dr. Li on the Application of Liquid Biopsies in Lung Cancer

Bob T. Li, MD, MPH
Published: Friday, Mar 29, 2019



Bob T. Li, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the application of liquid biopsies in lung cancer.

Liquid biopsies are already a reality in lung cancer, says Li. They’re now used readily in the detection of oncogenic drivers that could lead to targeted therapy options for patients. They can also be used to detect resistance mechanisms that may then guide subsequent treatment for patients.

Liquid biopsies have a lot of potential beyond their current use, explains Li, in terms of treatment monitoring for molecular response, detection of and screening for early-stage disease, as well as in providing evidence of minimal residual disease. The technology has the potential to extend the reach of precision medicine for patients with early-stage disease who have undergone standard therapies, adds Li. Moreover, it has the potential to guide neoadjuvant therapy, extended adjuvant therapy, indicate a curative state, as well as indicate whether chemotherapy is necessary. These are all future potential applications, states Li, but the technology still needs to be developed further to make this possible.
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Bob T. Li, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the application of liquid biopsies in lung cancer.

Liquid biopsies are already a reality in lung cancer, says Li. They’re now used readily in the detection of oncogenic drivers that could lead to targeted therapy options for patients. They can also be used to detect resistance mechanisms that may then guide subsequent treatment for patients.

Liquid biopsies have a lot of potential beyond their current use, explains Li, in terms of treatment monitoring for molecular response, detection of and screening for early-stage disease, as well as in providing evidence of minimal residual disease. The technology has the potential to extend the reach of precision medicine for patients with early-stage disease who have undergone standard therapies, adds Li. Moreover, it has the potential to guide neoadjuvant therapy, extended adjuvant therapy, indicate a curative state, as well as indicate whether chemotherapy is necessary. These are all future potential applications, states Li, but the technology still needs to be developed further to make this possible.



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