James Blachly, MD, discusses the role of circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker for patients with hairy cell leukemia.
James Blachly, MD, assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the role of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as a biomarker for patients with hairy cell leukemia in an interview during the 2019 Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation Annual Conference.
Blachly says ctDNA is an important emerging biomarker in many different cancer types, as well as non-cancer applications. However, this has not been tested previously in hairy cell leukemia. This disease behaves like any other non-Hodgkin lymphoma and sheds a moderate amount of cell free DNA that is readily detectable.
This is good because it’s distinguished by a monomorphic genetic driver, Blachly says. This is the BRAF mutation, which is a simple and easy target to look for in patients, whereas other cancers and lymphomas have a variety of mutations. In hairy cell leukemia, there is 1 target to go after which makes the process simple, Blachly concludes.