Dr. Harismendy on the Challenges Faced With Molecular Testing in DCIS

Olivier Harismendy, PhD, discusses the challenge of molecular testing in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ.

Olivier Harismendy, PhD, associate professor and head of the Oncogenomics Laboratory at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, discusses the challenge of molecular testing in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Patients diagnosed with DCIS are often being treated with surgery, endocrine therapy, and radiation therapy, according to Harismendy. Some DCIS lesions may be low risk, or unlikely to progress to a second cancer, but few biomarkers are available to determine which patients are more high risk and should receive treatment, says Harismendy. As such, it is believed that many patients with DCIS are overtreated. The lack of biomarkers is due to the difficulty of performing molecular testing on precancerous lesions, which are often damaged or too small to do further examination.

However, tools and assays are being developed now to further analyze these lesions, to reduce the size of the sample and improve the data on damaged samples; this is being done by examining RNA, DNA and the microenvironment using multiplex immunohistochemistry, concludes Harismendy.