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BCC 2021 | The potential of circulating cell-free DNA as a breast cancer biomarker

Analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) enables non-invasive sampling of tumor DNA and recent evidence supports its use as a promising liquid biopsy in breast cancer. Maria Panagopoulou, PhD, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece, discusses recent investigations into the potential applications of specific features of cfDNA that could act as biomarkers. Studies have shown that both the quantity of cfDNA, as well as the presence of specific molecular alterations have prognostic, predictive and diagnostic value in breast cancer. For example, the combined use of mutational and methylation data to quantify breast-derived cfDNA could detect measurable residual disease. Additional applications include treatment response monitoring in metastatic disease. This interview took place during the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference.