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May 05, 2020
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Liquid Biopsy in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Recognizing the Bad, the Good, and the Ugly

Genome Webinar

Professor of Medicine,
Robert Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University 


Breast cancer clinical and molecular heterogeneity is a critical challenge for the implementation of effective therapies in advanced and metastatic disease.  Several clinical factors (patient and tumor-related) are routinely used to predict disease behavior, therefore directing clinical management and interventions.  

In this webinar, Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli of the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and Feinberg School of Medicine will discuss the use of liquid biopsy diagnostics as an objective and measurable tools to evaluate the dynamic changes of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) at various time points, serving as sensitive, real-time evaluations of intrinsic resistance and molecular drivers of resistance.  

In the first part of the webinar, Dr. Cristofanilli will discuss recent results demonstrating that circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration stratifies MBC patients into two distinct prognostic groups, Stage IV aggressive and Stage IV indolent, thus providing an important diagnostic tool for patient stratification with the ability to improve the drug development process. Moreover, it may help physicians assess patients’ prognosis in clinical practice.   

In the second part of the webinar the role of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) diagnostics, using NGS panels to improve the capacity of molecular analysis of solid tumors, will be explored. The complementary role of ctDNA and CTCs to monitor MBC patients will be discussed.  

What You Will Learn: 

  • How both CTCs and ctDNA offer real-time complementary predictive information 
  • Ways in which CTC and ctDNA data can be used to tailor therapy and monitor treatment efficacy in individual patients 
  • Why the combination of sensitive blood-based diagnostics with novel target therapies is advancing personalized treatment in breast cancer 
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