A recent study reveals that liquid biopsies might be more effective than tissue biopsies in detecting mutations in advanced lung cancer patients. A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that a liquid biopsy revealed clinically relevant mutations showing the progression of the disease that were not found in a tissue biopsy. This could be good news for those suffering from lung cancer, which can be caused by exposure to asbestos, as liquid biopsy could be a helpful tool to guide treatment plans.
Researchers performed liquid biopsies on 102 patients with advanced lung cancer; only 50 of those patients could have a tissue sample taken as well. In the patients who received both tests, the tests showed almost exactly the same results when performed concurrently, identifying 41 of the same mutations. An additional 24 EGFR mutations, which can help inform treatment, were found in tissue samples, compared to 19 found in blood samples. There was a marked difference, however, when the blood sample was collected for a longer period of time after the tissue sample. The mutations shown may be new, treatment-resistant mutations that were not detectable in the tissue sample.
Liquid Biopsy Has Several Advantages over Tissue Biopsy
A liquid biopsy detects non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mutations, or cell-free circulating tumor DNA, that can be targeted using drugs. This can help physicians identify mutations that are resisting current treatments and modify treatment plans. It can be difficult to collect a tissue sample from lung cancer patients, and if the cancer has spread, a sample must be taken from every infected area in order to map the genetic profile of each tumor. A liquid biopsy is a non-invasive procedure that can be performed as many times as necessary, and it may capture DNA information shed from tumors in all locations.
A tissue biopsy may still be necessary in many cases to determine the physical characteristics of a tumor, but liquid biopsies can make a significant difference in determining how to target treatment of specific cancerous mutations. Researchers are hopeful that liquid biopsy may be used to diagnose lung cancer in previously undiagnosed patients. Thus far, this test has only been tested in lung cancer patients, but patients suffering from mesothelioma, which is notoriously resistant to many common treatment methods, may see benefits as well.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Victims of Asbestos-Related Diseases
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma or lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, call Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced legal team will thoroughly review the facts of your case and hold those responsible for your asbestos exposure accountable. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and South Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to discuss your case with one of our experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma and lung cancer lawyers.