In a study presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting, researchers showcased the efficacy of two liquid biopsy tests in identifying high-risk cervical cancer recurrence post-chemoradiation. These tests, a digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) and a sequencing test for human papillomavirus (HPV) genetic material, were found to be equally effective in detecting residual disease in blood.
Kathy Han, MD, from the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, highlighted that these non-invasive tests can detect residual disease post-treatment earlier than imaging or clinical exams. Liquid biopsies offer advantages over tissue biopsies, such as detecting minute components of ctDNA, circulating RNA, and other disease biomarkers. The study confirmed that patients with detectable HPV ctDNA after treatment had worse outcomes than those without.