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cfDNA Cancer Detection Remains Viable, But Requires Further Validation

Caroline Seymour
Published: Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019

Geoffrey R.
Oxnard, MD

Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD
Preliminary research has shown the potential application of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in detecting cancer and directing treatment decisions, explained Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD; however, the approach requires clinical validation before it can be used in practice.

, Oxnard, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a thoracic oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discussed the use of cfDNA as a potential method of cancer detection and subsequent assessment of treatment response in patients with solid and hematologic malignancies.

OncLive: What are some ways in which cfDNA is being used to detect cancer?

Oxnard: CancerSEQ is an assay that uses a next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel to look for key mutations in addition to proteomics. GRAIL is developing a broad genome-wide assay that looks across the entire genome for any abnormal signals; this is done by deleting the white cell signals and leaving the hidden signal that may be related to cancer. [However], there's a long road ahead of us before we will be able to develop a test that can help healthy patients know whether they have cancer or not.
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