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Discussing the Evolution of Liquid Biopsies in Lung and Other Cancers

Benjamin P. Levy, MD
Published Online:3:25 PM, Thu May 23, 2019

Benjamin P. Levy, MD, an assistant professor of oncology and the clinical director of Medical Oncology at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses the evolution of liquid biopsies in all solid tumors, especially in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) where they are used routinely.

Historically, Levy says liquid biopsies were initially used to detect resistance to EGFR targeted therapies, but more recently, 2 data sets demonstrated their utility in addition to tissue biopsies in patients with advanced NSCLC. In breast cancer and gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies, some utility for liquid biopsies has been demonstrated recently, but it has not been as ironed out as it has been in lung cancer.

Based on these data sets, liquid biopsies can be used in stage IV breast and colorectal cancers, but also in post-curative intent setting to detect minimal residual disease. Overall, Levy concludes that lung cancer is leading the way and he hopes to see trends continue in breast and GI cancers.
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