Dr. Wolpin on the CCGA Study of Blood-Based Testing for Early Detection of GI Cancers

Brian M. Wolpin, MD, MPH
Published: Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020



Brian M. Wolpin, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, director, Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Center, co-director, Pancreas and Billary Tumor Center, Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the GI subgroup findings of the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study (NCT02889978).

The study evaluated the efficacy of using a DNA methylation–based circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) assay to detect cancers specific to regions of the GI tract. In the second substudy of the trial, investigators looked at several GI cancers, including pancreatic cancer, biliary cancer, and gallbladder cancer for which no screening tests currently exist, explained Wolpin.

Screening modalities that can detect early-stage disease are important in this space because patients often present with advanced disease, says Wolpin.

Results of the study demonstrated that the assay detected multiple GI cancers with >99% specificity and high sensitivity. This is important because the specificity can help minimize false positives and the sensitivity can help detect cancer in its early stages, says Wolpin. Additionally, the tissue of origin was accurately detected in 91% of GI cancers, concludes Wolpin.
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Brian M. Wolpin, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, director, Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Center, co-director, Pancreas and Billary Tumor Center, Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the GI subgroup findings of the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study (NCT02889978).

The study evaluated the efficacy of using a DNA methylation–based circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) assay to detect cancers specific to regions of the GI tract. In the second substudy of the trial, investigators looked at several GI cancers, including pancreatic cancer, biliary cancer, and gallbladder cancer for which no screening tests currently exist, explained Wolpin.

Screening modalities that can detect early-stage disease are important in this space because patients often present with advanced disease, says Wolpin.

Results of the study demonstrated that the assay detected multiple GI cancers with >99% specificity and high sensitivity. This is important because the specificity can help minimize false positives and the sensitivity can help detect cancer in its early stages, says Wolpin. Additionally, the tissue of origin was accurately detected in 91% of GI cancers, concludes Wolpin.



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