Dr. Shiller on the Emergence of Liquid Biopsies

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>Baylor Scott & White Health</b>

Shirley Michelle Shiller, DO, member of the Precision Medicine Institute’s Advisory Committee, Baylor University Medical Center, discusses the emerging technology of liquid biopsies and the clinical success associated with them.

Shirley Michelle Shiller, DO, member of the Precision Medicine Institute's Advisory Committee, Baylor University Medical Center, discusses the emerging technology of liquid biopsies and the clinical success associated with them.

Though liquid biopsies have been used predominantly in the domain of lung cancer, doctors are still learning a lot about the procedure. Biopsies can be plasma- or urine-based, though less is understood about urine-based testing. Plasma-based testing, though best understood in the sphere of lung cancer, has potential to be used for colon cancer.

Detection rates are lower in plasma than in solid tumors because there is more experience testing solid tumors. In comparison, there are other variables that cannot be controlled as much in plasma-based testing. When taking a biopsy of a solid tumor, the tumor is clear on the slide, whereas it is less clear when blood is drawn whether the tumor is shedding at that time, or that the mutations are shedding in enough of a quantity to be detected.