Dr. Sabari Compares Liquid and Tissue Biopsies in NSCLC

Joshua K. Sabari, MD
Published: Monday, Dec 10, 2018



Joshua K. Sabari, MD, assistant professor of medicine, NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center, compares liquid and tissue biopsies for the treatment of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Tissue biopsies are still the standard of care because defining the histology of the tumor is critical, Sabari says, but there are factors that give liquid biopsies an advantage. The latter is more accessible, easier to perform, and, importantly, has a much quicker turnaround time. Liquid biopsy assays are able to turn results around in 7 to 10 days, while it takes tissue-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) about 3 weeks to develop, on average.

A study was conducted at NYU Langone, which compared the concordance between tissue NGS and blood-based NGS. Results showed that if an alteration was identified in a liquid biopsy, it was also detected in a tissue biopsy about 97% of the time. While the clinical utility of these assays seems to be comparable, the turnaround time with liquid biopsy was much quicker than that seen with tissue biopsy, an average of 9 days versus 21 days, respectively. This turnaround time allows for patients to be placed on their appropriate treatment plan earlier, which can ultimately improve outcomes, Sabari says.
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Joshua K. Sabari, MD, assistant professor of medicine, NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center, compares liquid and tissue biopsies for the treatment of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Tissue biopsies are still the standard of care because defining the histology of the tumor is critical, Sabari says, but there are factors that give liquid biopsies an advantage. The latter is more accessible, easier to perform, and, importantly, has a much quicker turnaround time. Liquid biopsy assays are able to turn results around in 7 to 10 days, while it takes tissue-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) about 3 weeks to develop, on average.

A study was conducted at NYU Langone, which compared the concordance between tissue NGS and blood-based NGS. Results showed that if an alteration was identified in a liquid biopsy, it was also detected in a tissue biopsy about 97% of the time. While the clinical utility of these assays seems to be comparable, the turnaround time with liquid biopsy was much quicker than that seen with tissue biopsy, an average of 9 days versus 21 days, respectively. This turnaround time allows for patients to be placed on their appropriate treatment plan earlier, which can ultimately improve outcomes, Sabari says.



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