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ASTRO 2017: Predicting Response to Lung Cancer Treatment With Circulating Tumor DNA Analysis

By: Susan Reckling
Posted: Monday, October 2, 2017

It may be possible to predict treatment outcomes in patients receiving chemoradiotherapy for localized non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by analyzing mid-treatment levels of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), based on the results of a recent study conducted by Aadel Chaudhuri, MD, PhD, of Stanford University, and colleagues. These findings, which may afford physicians additional lead time to personalize treatment for recurrent disease, were presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego (Abstract 2).

“While we expected ctDNA detection of molecular residual disease would predict poor clinical outcomes, we were surprised by how strongly predictive the test was for recurrence and survival,” said Dr. Chaudhuri in an ASTRO press release.

Among the 34 patients with ctDNA minimal residual disease before treatment, more than half had detectable residual disease after treatment. All of these patients subsequently developed recurrent lung cancer, compared with 1 of 15 patients without detectable ctDNA minimal residual disease. In addition, patients with detectable ctDNA minimal residual disease after treatment had worse freedom from disease progression and survival than those without detectable ctDNA minimal residual disease.