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The multidisciplinary use of ctDNA in gastrointestinal cancers

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer remains one of the leading cause of global cancer mortality. The current standard for diagnosing GI cancers via biopsy is costly and invasive, as well as lacking in reliability. As such, these methods are not used for screening and the majority of GI cancers are diagnosed in the advanced stages of cancer progression, when curative surgery is inadequate and patients must resort to other forms of treatment. When discovered and treated in the early stages, there is a much greater chance of curing GI cancers.

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) are biomarkers that are released from the tumor into the plasma of patients. These liquid biopsies offer a non-invasive method for the screening and early diagnosis of GI cancers, holding the potential to improve survival rates for this patient population.

In this podcast, Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Naureen Starling, BSc, FRCP, MD, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK and Justin Mencel, MBBS, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, discuss the use of ctDNA to screen for GI cancer, and the use of CTCs in determining minimal residual disease, including for the detection of microscopic amounts of disease following surgery.

Date: 2nd February 2022

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