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Evaluating the Role of Liquid Biopsy in Breast Cancer

Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH
Published Online:7:42 PM, Mon September 9, 2019


Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH, a medical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the value of liquid biopsies in the treatment landscape of breast cancer. The real value of liquid biopsy in this space lies in providing oncologists with insight on what’s happening in tumor evolution, says Bardia.

The use of liquid biopsies will improve upon the oncologist’s understanding of the disease and the patient at hand. With a better understanding of this, oncologists can give targeted therapies that target specific mutations, ultimately resulting in improved outcomes for these patients.

In May 2019, the FDA approved alpelisib (Piqray), a PI3K inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative,PIK3CA-mutated, advanced or metastatic breast cancer, following progression on or after an endocrine-based therapy. PIK3CAmutations are most common in patients with HR-positive breast cancer. Bardia says this agent is the beginning of the integration of precision medicine into breast cancer management.

As additional therapies become available and technologies continue to advance in breast cancer, oncologists will see more drugs directed to what’s happening with the individual’s disease related to tumor evolution. Liquid biopsy plays an important role in defining the tumor evolution and supporting the development of new agents like alpelisib.
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