Dr. Normanno on Using Circulating Tumor DNA for EGFR Detection

Nicola Normanno, MD, chief of the Cell Biology and Biotherapy Unit, INT-Fondazione Pascale, Naples, Italy, discusses the benefit of plasma genotyping to predict response to EGFR-targeted therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Nicola Normanno, MD, chief of the Cell Biology and Biotherapy Unit, INT-Fondazione Pascale, Naples, Italy, discusses the benefit of plasma genotyping to predict response to EGFR-targeted therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

An analysis of the ASSESS trial examined whether patient disease or demographic characteristics influenced the detection of EGFR mutations in plasma through extraction of circulating tumor DNA.

The analysis found increased sensitivity of EGFR mutation detection in plasma associated with increasing number of metastases and severity of tumor burden. EGFR mutation detection in plasma was also significantly higher in patients aged less than 65 years old compared with older patients.

However, it still unknown why biological mechanisms underline why some patients have an increased sensitivity of EGFR mutation detection in plasma while others do not, says Normanno. These mechanisms need to better identified before treatment changes are made based on circulating tumor DNA testing, he adds.

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