Friday, December 4, 2015

Circulating Tumor they may eventually impact melanoma diagnosis and response to therapy

Circulating Tumor Cells, DNA, and mRNA: Potential for Clinical Utility in Patients With Melanoma.
Xu, Dorsey, Amaravadi, et al.  Oncologist. 2015 Nov 27.

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), and messenger RNA (mRNA), collectively termed circulating tumor products (CTPs), represent areas of immense interest from scientists' and clinicians' perspectives. In melanoma, CTP analysis may have clinical utility in many areas, from screening and diagnosis to clinical decision-making aids, as surveillance biomarkers or sources of real-time genetic or molecular characterization. In addition, CTP analysis can be useful in the discovery of new biomarkers, patterns of treatment resistance, and mechanisms of metastasis development. Here, we compare and contrast CTCs, ctDNA, and mRNA, review the extent of translational evidence to date, and discuss how future studies involving both scientists and clinicians can help to further develop this tool for the benefit of melanoma patients.

This article doesn't exactly provide any new or particularly useful data.  However, it does make one hopeful that work in this area will continue to advance so that we can have simple, standardized and reliable tests to measure and diagnose tumor status.  What a boon it would be to be able to diagnosis and follow tumor load and type, in order to better understand current status in patients, as well as response to therapy, without scans and the radiation, dye exposure and red herrings inherent in them.  Mostly, it is a call for more studies like the one discussed here: PCR Testing for melanoma

Best - c

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