A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center showed that circulating tumor cells (CTCs), a form of liquid biopsy, was independently associated with melanoma relapse, suggesting CTC assessment may be useful in identifying patients at risk for relapse who could benefit from more aggressive therapy following primary treatment.
Results from the study were published in Clinical Cancer Research , a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Although CTCs can be detected in melanoma patients, there is limited data regarding their significance in stage III (node-positive) disease. This prospective study was based on earlier research that found CTCs in a significant number of breast cancer patients, which was associated with relapse, independent of other existing methods for determining prognosis.
Our findings are significant, given that there is a need for blood-based biomarkers to guide clinical decision making for stage III melanoma patients. There currently are no blood tests available to help doctors accurately tell which patients are likely to relapse, and should be given therapy, and which are low risk, and could be observed." Anthony Lucci, M.D., professor of Breast Surgical Oncology and Surgical Oncology, and study lead Related Stories
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