Dr. Sparano on Application of Liquid Biopsies in Breast Cancer

Joseph A. Sparano, MD
Published: Monday, Jul 30, 2018



Joseph A. Sparano, MD, associate director for clinical research, Albert Einstein Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, discusses the application of liquid biopsies in breast cancer.

He says that while a liquid biopsy has some advantages over the standard tissue biopsy, there are some challenges that remain before it becomes part of routine clinical practice. The biggest challenge is that liquid biopsies have not yet been clinically proven to result in beneficial treatment for patients. While they are useful in detecting the mutational profile of a tumor, there is still work to be done in improving their clinical utility.

There might be some exceptions to that, says Sparano. Liquid biopsies can be useful in detecting ESR1 mutations, which are frequently found in the blood and usually come as a result of resistance to aromatase inhibition for patients with estrogen receptor-positive disease. Liquid biopsies are also effective in locating circulating tumor DNA.


Joseph A. Sparano, MD, associate director for clinical research, Albert Einstein Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, discusses the application of liquid biopsies in breast cancer.

He says that while a liquid biopsy has some advantages over the standard tissue biopsy, there are some challenges that remain before it becomes part of routine clinical practice. The biggest challenge is that liquid biopsies have not yet been clinically proven to result in beneficial treatment for patients. While they are useful in detecting the mutational profile of a tumor, there is still work to be done in improving their clinical utility.

There might be some exceptions to that, says Sparano. Liquid biopsies can be useful in detecting ESR1 mutations, which are frequently found in the blood and usually come as a result of resistance to aromatase inhibition for patients with estrogen receptor-positive disease. Liquid biopsies are also effective in locating circulating tumor DNA.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: Medical Crossfire®: Translating Lessons Learned with PARP Inhibition to the Treatment of Breast Cancer—Expert Exchanges on Novel Strategies to Personalize CareAug 29, 20181.5
Community Practice Connections™: 1st Annual International Congress of Oncology Pathology™: Towards Harmonization of Pathology and Oncology StandardsAug 30, 20182.0
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