January 26, 2018 – Predictive Value


Anchor lead: Liquid biopsies likely shouldn’t be used to guide clinical decisions for men with prostate cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Being able to monitor for cancer progression with a blood test- that’s the promise of liquid biopsy. But for men with prostate cancer, two commercially available tests don’t pass muster, according to a study by Kenneth Pienta, a prostate cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, showing that only 10% of the time did these labs get the same results.

Pienta: The other thing that’s a little bit scary for us is that because mutations, if you find them, can allow patients to be on certain clinical trials or get treated with certain drugs now, we actually found discrepancies between the two tests, where here this test said the patient could get the drug and this test said they couldn’t. well who’s right? In our push for precision medicine we’re still lacking that tool of being able to say the liquid biopsy is ready to be used.  :32

Pienta feels confident that as the science progresses liquid biopsies will be very useful, but cannot recommend them now. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.