Tan Explores the Potential of ctDNA in Renal Cell Carcinoma


Alan Tan, MD, discusses areas of interest in the research and development of circulating tumor DNA in renal cell carcinoma.

Alan Tan, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy at Rush Medical College, discusses areas of interest in the research and development for the field of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

According to Tan, there has been some hesitancy to see if ctDNA is useful in kidney cancer as it is thought to be a low DNA shedding cancer. However, data have already shown that especially in the metastatic setting, ctDNA can be highly predictive, warranting further exploration.

In addition, Tan provides a recap on his presentation from the 2023 International Kidney Cancer Symposium, highlighting the key takeaways for individuals wanting to learn more about ctDNA and how it is being utilized in RCC.


0:10 | I think we're just in the beginning. In the MRD, or minimal residual disease setting, I'm not so sure this is, at least the sensitivity levels that are currently the standard commercial assays, are good enough. We're refining these tests, maybe deeper sequencing, maybe tracking more variants instead of just 16 mutations, maybe 50 variants, but also using other technologies, such as methylation, such as RNA, which is interesting to think about as well.

0:53 | The key takeaway I'd say is that ctDNA in kidney cancer, even though it's a lower shedding cancer, it can be informative. A positive [especially is that it can] tell who is going to be a high-risk patient that will recur in the future. But in the metastatic setting, we can use this to perhaps prognosticate and track the course of the patient's treatment and their successes or failures. Maybe it could help de-escalate treatment for patients that are exceptional responders and could use a break from this toxic treatment, and hopefully translate into better quality-of-life and outcomes.

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