Lung Cancer Studies Yield Insight Into Tumor Evolution, Support Liquid Biopsy Potential

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Two new studies resulting from the ongoing Tracking Cancer Evolution through Therapy (TRACERx) trial in the UKillustrate important features of the heterogeneity and clonal evolution of non-small cell lung cancer and begin to build evidence for the use of liquid biopsy for recurrence monitoring and predicting response to adjuvant treatment.

Led by Charles Swanton, a professor at the Francis Crick Institute, TRACERx aims to systematically characterize the genomic paths lung cancers take in growing, spreading, and becoming resistant to therapy in about 900 NSCLC patients.

In one of the new reports, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, Swanton and colleagues  conductedgenomic analyses of tumor tissue from 100 patients, comparing the genetic features of different regions of these tumors to elucidate their clonal evolution and heterogeneity.

The authors wrote that chromosomal instability appeared to not only reflect tumor evolution but also predicted worse outcomes for patients in the study. Those with a high proportion of unstable chromosomes were more than four times more likely than those without to have their cancer return, or die from their disease, within two years.

According to Swanton and colleagues, the study provides a newly comprehensive analysis of NSCLC

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