New Liquid Biopsy Method May Improve Upon Current Modalities for Early Detection of Cancer

Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, discusses the key takeaways regarding the use of liquid biopsy to detect cancer and a new cfDNA approach to detect cancer at earlier stages.

Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, co-director of Cancer Biology and professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses the key takeaways regarding the use of liquid biopsy to detect cancer and a new cfDNA approach to detect cancer at earlier stages.

The major way to reduce the morbidity and mortality that is associated with cancer is early detection, Velculescu says. Many cancer deaths, unfortunately, are avoidable if they are identified earlier, which represents a major area of unmet need in the oncology space.

The existing approaches for early detection that are available still have some limitations, due to the number of molecules they see of DNA or compounded conditions, says Velculescu. This new type of technology, which he introduced during the 2020 Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting, however, allows for detection of cancer with high performance and across many cancer types and tissues of origin. This advance appears promising, and Velculescu looks forward to seeing this approach validated in the future to further improve patient outcomes.