Himisha Beltran, MD, discusses the limitations of tissue biopsies versus liquid biopsies in castration-resistant neuroendocrine prostate cancer.
Himisha Beltran, MD, associate professor of medicine and physician in the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology and the Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, discusses the limitations of tissue biopsies versus liquid biopsies in castration-resistant neuroendocrine prostate cancer (CRPC-NE).
Tissue biopsies have innate risks because they are invasive procedures, says Beltran. Performing multiple sequential tissue biopsies to identify cancer subtypes that may emerge in late stages of prostate cancer, such as CRPC-NE, can be challenging.
Additionally, tracking the dynamic changes that occur during CRPC-NE progression is difficult with tissue biopsy because it can only provide information for a single timepoint, explains Beltran. Studying this evolving process of acquired resistance using liquid biopsies could eventually be translated into noninvasive tools to identify patients who are at risk of developing CRPC-NE for earlier and targeted treatment approaches.
If researchers can show that the molecular features that are identified with liquid biopsies are robust biomarkers, they could augment current clinical features that are identified with tissue biopsies. These biomarkers could shed light on the mechanisms underlying resistance to therapy, says Beltran.
The utilization of liquid biopsy could continue to push the treatment paradigm in CRPC-NE toward precision medicine, concludes Beltran.