Sunday, December 6, 2015

PCR testing for circulating melanoma mo one!!

Applications for quantitative measurement of BRAF V600 mutant cell-free tumor DNA in the plasma of patients with metastatic melanoma.  Schreuer, Meersseman, Herrewegan, et al.  Melanoma Res.  2015 Dec 3. 

"Small fragments of cell-free DNA that are shed by normal and tumor cells can be detected in the plasma of patients with advanced melanoma. Quantitative measurement of BRAF V600 mutant DNA within the cell-free DNA holds promise as a tumor-specific biomarker for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring in patients with BRAF V600 mutant melanoma. Allele-specific quantitative PCR analysis for BRAF V600 E/E2/D/K/R/M mutations on DNA extracted from 1 ml of plasma is currently under evaluation in a number of ongoing prospective clinical studies. We report five patient cases that indicate the potential applications and utility of quantitative measurements of BRAF V600 mutant cell-free tumor DNA as a diagnostic test and as a therapeutic monitoring tool in stage IV melanoma patients treated with BRAF-targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Finally, we offer novel insights into the dynamics of cell-free tumor DNA in melanoma."

So this is the bandwagon many melanoma specialists are on at the moment as is evident by this article and the two recent posts noted below - all from differing sets of researchers! And, that's not a bad thing.  My cynical self sees it as a race to the patented, FDA approved, money making test...for this bio-firm or for that set of researchers.   My more hopeful self sees a potential method for minimally invasive, accurate diagnosis of the presence and type of melanoma an individual is dealing with, as well as a way to measure tumor burden and response to therapy.

Here's hoping!  - c

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