Welcome to the QIAGEN Cancer Research Community for dedicated and passionate cancer researchers. We are working to conquer cancer with an emphasis on collaborating together worldwide to share knowledge, materials, methods and data to enable breakthroughs in cancer research.
Our first Cancer Insights Sessions feature the breakthrough research into multimodality approaches in liquid biopsy analysis and how to get a more complete picture of liquid biopsies by analyzing circulating tumor cells, extracellular vesicles and cell-free DNA in parallel – research by Sabine Kasimir-Bauer’s team at the University Hospital of Essen. After enjoying the introductory podcasts, you can look forward to Science Talks including a comprehensive introduction and three deep dives into the breakthrough research into breast cancer and how to get a more complete picture of liquid biopsies by analyzing all the components of a blood sample.
Abstract: Cancer patients are usually treated according to the so-called predictive markers on their primary tumors. However, these markers can change during the molecular evolution of distant metastases, finally leading to death. Primary tumor tissue is only available at the time of first diagnosis and metastatic tissue is often difficult to obtain. Even if accessible, a single tumor biopsy is mostly a single snapshot in time and does not always mirror the characteristics of the disease, mostly due to the known heterogeneity of individual lesions. In this regard, the use of biological fluids such as blood as a non-invasive source of cellular and nucleic acid biomarkers would be an ideal "surrogate tissue" to identify and monitor prognostic and predictive factors that will help in selecting the optimal therapeutic strategy for each individual patient. We approached this challenge and compared and analyzed, all from one blood sample, RNA profiles enclosed in circulating tumor cells or extracellular vesicles and performed mutational analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma samples (next-generation sequencing) in the follow up of the disease to get insights into their feasibility for therapy stratification and to predict therapeutic options.
Cancer patients are usually treated according to the so-called predictive markers on Blood analytes as liquid biopsies, are discussed to be surrogate markers for therapy stratification. Furthermore, the analysis of RNA enclosed in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or extracellular vesicles (EVs) may be sensitive enough to detect disease progression earlier than contemporary visual staging methods. Repeated analysis is enabled by the minimal invasive nature of blood draw. Here we compared RNA profiles of CTCs and EVs in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients to get insights about their feasibility for therapy stratification.
Expression profiling in CTCs as well as in EVs is enabled by the described workflows and may be an alternative for therapy monitoring. Data indicated great differences in RNA profiles of EVs and CTCs.
Blood analytes are discussed to be surrogate markers for therapy stratification, as serial sampling enabled by the minimal invasive nature of blood draw facilitates monitoring of clonal evolution. Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is described to mirror intra-tumoral heterogeneity and gives insights about clonal evolution for improved therapeutic decisions. We sequenced cfDNA of a hormone receptorpositive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cohort with a high coverage to examine the prevalence and relevance of any detected variant.
Unique molecular identifiers enable the identification of true positive mutations in cfDNA. The identification of new variants with high prevalence, prognostic value, and dynamics under treatment by deep sequencing of cfDNA might empower sensitive monitoring and personalized therapeutic decisions in the future.
Liquid biopsy analytes such as cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) exhibit great potential for personalized treatment. Since cfDNA and CTCs are considered to give additive information and blood specimens are limited, isolation of cfDNA and CTC in an “all from one tube” format is desired. We investigated whether cfDNA variant sequencing from CTC-depleted blood impacts the results compared to cfDNA variant sequencing from matched whole blood (WB).
We present a feasible workflow for CTC and ctDNA evaluation for expression and mutation analysis from the same blood sample. Matched cfDNA mutational and CTC transcriptional analyses might empower a comprehensive liquid biopsy analysis to enhance the identification of actionable targets for individual therapy strategies of MBC patients in the future.