MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Andrea Sottoriva, PhD
Centre for Evolution and Cancer, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by a liquid biopsy?
Response: Cetuximab is a targeted treatment available for metastatic colorectal cancer patients. Unfortunately, although many patients benefit from Cetuximab, after an initial response to the treatment many patients relapse and become resistant to the drug.
We know that this resistance is due to the tumour evolving and adapting to therapy. Liquid biopsies allow to look for residual cancer DNA in the blood of a patient and hence monitor the emergence of resistance over time. We used blood samples take every 4 weeks (quite frequently for this type of study) to monitor the evolution of the cancers under treatment and see if there were some measurements that would predict if and when patients will relapse.