Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) can detect molecular residual disease (MRD) in plasma after curative-intent treatment of non-metastatic solid tumor malignancy when prior mutational knowledge from either tumor or pre-treatment plasma is available. Researchers hypothesized that ctDNA MRD analysis without prior mutational knowledge could be performed to assess oligometastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) treated with curative intent by applying an error-corrected ultra-deep targeted sequencing approach. They also investigated urine as an alternative analyte for ctDNA MRD detection in this non-genitourinary setting.
"We found that there was a good correlation between ctDNA MRD and the size of tumor, as well as residual tumor in the surgical specimen, " said Dr. Bruna Pellini, Associate Member in the Department of Thoracic Oncology.
Tumor-naïve plasma ctDNA analysis can sensitively and specifically detect MRD in patients with oligometastatic CRC after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Urine-based ctDNA MRD detection is also feasible in these patients; however, it is less sensitive than plasma. Analysis of oligometastatic CRC patients’ ctDNA MRD also revealed potentially actionable results that might have implications for personalized adjuvant treatment regimens.
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