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Dr. Kurtz Discusses Using ctDNA to Detect Lymphoma

David M. Kurtz, MD, PhD, instructor of medicine, Postdoctoral Fellow, Divisions of Oncology & Hematology, Stanford Cancer Center, Stanford University, discusses using circulating tumor DNA to detect lymphoma.

David M. Kurtz, MD, PhD, instructor of medicine, Postdoctoral Fellow, Divisions of Oncology & Hematology, Stanford Cancer Center, Stanford University, discusses using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to detect lymphoma.

Kurtz says the in order to detect a patient’s lymphoma using ctDNA, the mutations that drive the lymphoma need to be identified first. A biopsy is taken, and is then sequenced using a next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform. Once the molecular bar code of the patient’s lymphoma is identified, their progress can be tracked over time through their blood plasma, Kurtz says. Through this blood draw, DNA from the plasma can be isolated and sequenced, he explains.

For patients at risk of recurrence, blood plasma samples can be sequenced. According to Kurtz, ctDNA can be used to monitor the disease throughout therapy, including at relapse and at the completion of therapy. Utilizing liquid biopsies to collect ctDNA in conjunction with NGS is a method that is being used across multiple tumor types.

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