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Kris Karafotas     
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Benefits of Using Liquid Biopsies in Lung Cancer Screening

Published on 5/22/2019
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Dr. Neeraja Dasari explains the advantages of using liquid biopsies over tumor tissue biopsy samples when screening patients for lung cancer.


Lewisville, TX – May 22, 2019 – Liquid biopsies are cancer tests using blood samples (sometimes urine or saliva is used). The tests collect tumor cells or materials shed from tumor cells such as fragments of tumor DNA.They are simple and non-invasive procedures that help doctors to collect information about tumors.  Results of biopsies can help to determine the right treatment for patients.


“Liquid biopsies can detect the epidermal growth factor receptor gene mutations in patients who have non-small cell lung cancer,” explained Dr. Neeraja. “Their non-invasive nature makes liquid biopsies easy to tolerate and analyze for tumor DNA.”


Here are some of the advantages of using liquid biopsies:


  • It is less invasive and less risky. It is ideal for those patients who are not healthy enough to go through tissue biopsy.


  • It is easily repeatable to obtain more DNA when needed.


  • Since lung cancer tumors may be heterogeneous, relevant mutations may be clustered in one location. Therefore circulating tumor DNA can help to potentially reflect a more diverse tumor genetics sampling.


  • Blood biopsies provide test results faster because extracting DNA from the samples requires less processing time.


The EGFR mutation test helps to identify lung cancer patients who qualify for EGFR-targeted therapy drugs such as osimertinib (Tagrisso). It evaluates the ctDNA in the blood and can identify 42 gene mutations. Researchers are still working on ways to make liquid biopsy useful in early diagnosis of cancer, therapy selection, prognosis, and therapy monitoring for cancer patients. 


“Liquid biopsies can help doctors to monitor the cancer cells' reaction to treatment." continued Dr. Dasari. "Clinical trials have been conducted and found that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that have been detected by liquid biopsy can show the risk of a patient's cancer recurring after receiving treatment. Soon liquid biopsies will be used in clinical trials to determine when to stop treatment for lung cancer patients with a low risk of cancer recurring."

About Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group


The Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group has state-of-the-art facilities that offer individualized care to patients throughout North Texas. With a team of expert oncologists and other specialists on staff, the Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group treats a variety of cancers and blood disorders with an eye towards the newest advancements available in diagnostic technology and treatments.


Contact Details:


Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group

500 W. MainSuite 380

Lewisville, Texas 75057


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