This week in techniques



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Assays & screens

Cell-free, circulating tumor DNA to monitor acquired resistance to cancer therapy

A method to isolate, amplify and sequence tumor-derived, circulating DNA fragments could help monitor acquired resistance to cancer therapy without requiring a biopsy. A high-throughput, deep-sequencing platform was adapted to amplify and sequence DNA fragments in blood samples from two patients with breast cancer, three patients with ovarian cancer and one patient with lung cancer. The platform identified mutations acquired over a one to two-year period that were associated with emergence of therapy resistance and concordant with mutations in two corresponding metastatic tumor biopsy samples. Next steps include working toward gaining clinical pathology accreditation (see CTCs gain character(ization), page 8).

SciBX 6(17); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.421
Published online May 2, 2013

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Murtaza, M. et al. Nature;
published online April 7, 2013;
Contact: Nitzan Rosenfeld, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.