Dr. Souglakos, renowned oncologist, identified a significant advantage for liquid biopsies: monitoring patient progress following clinical intervention
LIQUID BIOPSY, KEY FOR IMPROVING CANCER TREATMENT AND CUTTING DOWN DRUG EXPENDITURE
LiqBiopSens consortium is gathering relevant advice and views from reputed oncologists to improve LiqBiopSens platform from the very beginning.
Dr John Souglakos, oncologist and researcher in gastro intestinal cancers at the University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete (Greece) was guest lecturer on cancer biomarkers at the second Liqbiopsens meeting held at Crete last month. In his years as a clinician and researcher, he has participated in more than 250 scientific publications.
Dr Souglakos identified progress being made in personalized and stratified medicine, and the various taxonomic models that have been developed for colorectal cancer since 1990, when the original model was published in Cell by Fearon-Vogelstein.
The importance of a wide range of biomarkers to make an early and effective diagnostic
While tissue biopsies remain the gold standard today to diagnose colorectal cancer, Dr Souglakos saw that improved diagnosis and prognosis should be possible through liquid biopsies. However, to achieve this, a much wider and improved range of biomarkers are needed to ensure earlier screening that could link to earlier clinical intervention, and significant improvement to patient five year mortality, currently very poor.
Liquid biopsy for monitoring the resistance to drugs
However, Dr Souglakos identified another very significant advantage for liquid biopsies – monitoring patient progress (or relapsing) following clinical intervention. With the emergence of the first monoclonal antibody drugs for metastatic colorectal cancer, and the inevitable emergence of resistance to the drug treatment over time, only non-invasive testing such as liquid biopsies are a practical option. For health providers, given the very high cost of the new drugs (up to $200K / month) it is critical that patients should be first tested on whether the drug will be effective for an individual patient, given their genetic profile, and then monitored over time for the emergence of resistance.
LiqBiopSens consortium wants to be in close contact with oncology doctors and scientists
Dr Souglakos reminded the LiqBiopSens collaborators of the importance of improving patient outcomes, and to continue their efforts to create an improved test for colon cancer and treatment monitoring.
LiqBiopSens consortium expressed their gratitude to Dr. Souglakos for his very interesting and documented lecture. LiqBiopSens project is opened to the worldwide community of oncology doctors and scientists, their advice and proposals are always welcome.