Identification of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status is important in breast cancer diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment planning. Although tremendous strides have been made in detecting this biomarker, there is a need for additional testing methods that are more convenient and less invasive than solid-tissue biopsy, particularly for monitoring patients over the care continuum. A presentation at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting reviewed data from a study that tested the concordance of liquid biopsy with solid tissue biopsy.
The researchers recruited 20 patients with stage III or IV breast cancer that was confirmed via solid tissue biopsy to be human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive. They collected 8 ml of whole blood from each subject, then applied the LiquidScan system. The procedure isolated circulating tumor cells, then analyzed them via fluorescence in situ hybridization as well automated and visual microscopy. The procedure had 100% concordance with solid-tissue biopsy, as it was able to identify all HER2 positivity.
“Liquid biopsy may provide a cost effective, sensitive, and non-invasive approach to monitor response,” wrote the authors, a group of researchers from the University of California at San Diego and Biofluidica, also in San Diego. They are planning further research.