Sander Bach, MD, PhD, discusses research examining circulating tumor DNA in colorectal cancer.
Sander Bach, MD, PhD, a research associate in the Department of Surgery at Amsterdam Universitair Medische Centra, discusses research examining circulating tumor (ct)DNA in colorectal cancer (CRC).
Patients with CRC who did not receive any form of treatment prior to the sampling of plasma used to detect ctDNA were enrolled in a systemic review. This was done because systemic therapy and surgical resection can influence the ctDNA profile, explains Bach. From there, various methods to detect ctDNA were examined, including DNA methylation such as hypermethylation, DNA mutations, and chromosomal copy number variations, which is more novel and has not been used in a formal review. Although these alterations have been known in the CRC space for a long time, there is not much literature about these types of aberrations in ctDNA, says Bach.
To understand the effectiveness of detecting these aberrations in the ctDNA, a lot of literature was examined for the review. In total, 8,478 abstracts were originally reviewed by investigators. At the final qualitative synthesis, 84 studies were included, allowing investigators to examine the sensitivity and specificity of ctDNA, concludes Bach.