Dr. Papadimitrakopoulou on the Utility of Liquid Biopsies in NSCLC

Vassiliki A. Papadimitrakopoulou, MD

Vassiliki A. Papadimitrakopoulou, MD, professor of medicine, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the utility of liquid biopsies in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Liquid biopsies are mainly used to profile patients with metastatic NSCLC, says Papadimitrakopoulou. These biopsies have also demonstrated utility in monitoring disease after surgical resection. Although this research is still in experimental phase, investigators are hoping to use liquid biopsies to detect disease early. Once a patient’s blood sample is obtained, the DNA shed from the tumor can be extracted and sequenced as with a tissue tumor biopsy, she adds.

The utility of liquid biopsies has also been demonstrated in the phase III NILE trial, which was a prospective clinical trial comparing liquid biopsies, specifically cell-free DNA tumor profiling, with tumor tissue profiling. Eligible patients were prospectively entered into the clinical trial based on predefined criteria. Findings indicated that liquid biopsies are equally effective in detecting guideline-recommended biomarkers, mutations in the tumor, and with a significantly faster turn-around time, concludes Papadimitrakopoulou.
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