Research results on circulating tumour DNA
Research funded by Kidney Cancer Canada, Canadian Urological Association and Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada
Plasma Circulating Tumor DNA and Clonal Hematopoiesis in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma
Cells in your body are constantly growing, dividing, and dying. When mature cells die, they release their DNA into the bloodstream to be degraded by specialized enzymes. Among cancer patients, tumours are also involved in this process, and contribute to the production of “circulating tumour DNA”. These fragmented pieces of tumour-derived DNA can be isolated from a standard blood test and used for non-invasive genetic testing.
In a recent paper published in the Journal Clinical Genitourinary Cancer, Dr. Lucia Nappi and Jack Bacon from the University of British Columbia, have shown that kidney cancer patients with increased levels of circulating tumour DNA are at significantly increased risk of treatment failure and death than patients who show low/undetectable levels of circulating tumour DNA.
This information could one day be used by medical professionals to guide treatment decisions in concert with existing prognostic criteria for kidney cancer.