Multiple Myeloma Study Suggests Circulating DNA Test Complements Bone Marrow Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – There is new evidence that circulating tumor DNA can offer a window into mutations present in multiple myeloma (MM) tumors that could potentially offset the need for at least some of the bone marrow testing procedures patients need to endure.

In a study appearing online today in Nature Communications, a Canadian team outlined their method for detecting multiple myeloma (MM) mutations with the help of circulating tumor DNA sequencing. The approach, dubbed Liquid Biopsy Sequencing (LB-Seq), appeared to uncover the majority of MM mutations, suggesting it could serve as an avenue for detecting and characterizing MMs in a manner that is complementary to more invasive bone marrow aspiration-based testing.

The LB-Seq approach “can potentially replace medically unnecessary [bone marrow] sampling and provide an alternative non-invasive test for longitudinal genetic monitoring of MM patients receiving targeted therapy,” co-corresponding authors Trevor Pugh and Suzanne Trudel, researchers affiliated with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University of Toronto, and their colleagues wrote.

They explained that such a method is attractive because MM tumor testing typically involves a bone marrow aspiration process that “may be difficult, painful, and associated with significant patient anxiety as well as rare but significant complications

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