Laura van’t Veer, the Inventor of the MammaPrint (a genomic test that helps predict the risk of breast cancer recurrence); Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Director of Applied Genomics at UCSF and PMWC 2020 Luminary Award Honoree discussed the recent advancements in cancer detection using liquid biopsy technology in a phone interview. She explained that liquid biopsy testing can detect cancer fragments in circulation in the blood, making it a useful diagnostic tool for detecting cancer early. However, challenges remain in designing a test that is generic for every type of cancer. Liquid biopsy is most effective in patients who have already been diagnosed with cancer, as it can help identify the specific characteristics of the tumor and monitor response to treatment. Liquid biopsy testing can also be used to monitor patients who have had initial treatment for cancer to detect any recurrence of the tumor. The cost-effectiveness of liquid biopsy testing depends on the cancer type and the molecular makeup of the tumor. Van’t Veer stressed the importance of understanding the indications for testing and defining the cancer type that needs to be detected early. She also emphasized that liquid biopsy testing needs to be developed with a focus on the highest need, which may be in identifying fast-growing tumors with a very aggressive disease course.

See The Clinical Utility of Liquid Biopsy Track, chaired by Laura Van’t Veer on January 25th (Day 2) agenda here: www.pmwcintl.com/program/
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