MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Mark Roschewski, MD and Dr Wyndham H Wilson MD-PhD
Lymphoma Therapeutics Section
Lymphoid Malignancies Branch, Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Monitoring patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has relied on computed tomography (CT) scans which are imprecise, expensive and include radiation. We investigated the ability of a blood-based assay to monitor patients with DLBCL during and after their initial therapy. The assay we studied amplifies and quantifies small amounts of circulating tumor DNA from the patient’s blood. We showed that this assay effectively predicts which patients will relapse and identifies recurrence 3.5 months before CT scans.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: It is important to note that some patients who relapse with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma still have a chance to be cured of their disease. Advances in monitoring that detect recurrence at an earlier time point and at a lower tumor burden could potentially translate into improved clinical outcomes. Although our study was not structured to address this question, it lays the groundwork for future studies to investigate these clinical questions.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: – The ability to monitor circulating tumor DNA in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma has many potential research applications. In addition to detecting early relapse during surveillance after therapy, assays for circulating tumor DNA can be used to non-invasively monitor tumor dynamics during therapy and to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) at the end of therapy. Other important research applications would include tracking mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies, improving our understanding of how tumors evolve over time, and potentially serving as a “liquid biopsy” that aid diagnosis.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mark Roschewski, MD and Dr Wyndham H Wilson MD-PhD (2015). Tumor DNA Blood Test May Detect Lymphoma Relapse Before CT Scans