Sander Bach, MD, PhD, discusses the rationale to conduct a systematic review of circulating tumor DNA in colorectal cancer.
Sander Bach, MD, PhD, a research associate in the Department of Surgery at Amsterdam Universitair Medische Centra, discusses the rationale to conduct a systematic review of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in colorectal cancer (CRC).
Available literature on the role of ctDNA in CRC was thoroughly evaluated as part of the systematic review, says Bach. Ultimately, 3 objectives were identified that could utilize ctDNA as a way to improve patient outcomes.
The first objective had to do with the detection of CRC at an early stage, explains Bach. This is paramount because the earlier cancer is detected, the more likely that a patient's prognosis will be favorable.
The next goal of the review was to use ctDNA as prognostication to inform treatment selection, adds Bach. Not only is ctDNA important to determine which therapy a patient would derive benefit from, but also it would help to communicate what can be expected with certain therapies, explains Bach.
The last objective was to use ctDNA in more advanced disease to help monitor patients after systemic chemotherapy or targeted therapies have been used, says Bach. Not only is this applicable in the advanced stage, but also after primary curative surgical resection; with ctDNA, minimal residual disease (MRD) could be detected, adds Bach.
Notably, ctDNA is a noninvasive procedure that can detect MRD and potentially implicate additional therapies in a patient's treatment course, concludes Bach.