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Dr. Bauml Discusses Liquid Biopsies in Lung Cancer

Joshua Bauml, MD, assistant professor, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, discusses the role of liquid biopsies for patients with lung cancer.

Joshua Bauml, MD, assistant professor, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, discusses the role of liquid biopsies for patients with lung cancer.

Liquid biopsies are used by clinicians to look for a wide variety of resistance mutations when giving a targeted therapy. According to Bauml, as we expand liquid biopsies, it is going to be possible to assess tumor mutational burden, leading to better decisions regarding immunotherapy, explains Bauml.

A retrospective analysis of a randomized study determined that a liquid biopsy that measures tumor mutational burden showed promise as an aid for predicting benefit in patients with lung cancer treated with a checkpoint inhibitor. Tumor mutation burden in blood ≥16 had a significant association with improved progression-free survival in patients treated with the PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq).

There was an additional study that looked at patients who had a resection of their lung cancer, and liquid biopsies were used to follow those patients to determine when the relapse would occur. The other role for liquid biopsies is to monitor those patients to watch the genetic landscape.

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