ctDNA Predicted Early Relapse in Resected Stage II/III Melanoma

Source: Cancer Network, November 2017

Levels of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) predicted worse outcomes including relapse and survival in patients with resected stage II/III melanoma, according to the results of a study published in Annals of Oncology.

Using droplet digital polymerase chain reaction, Rebecca J. Lee, of Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, and colleagues detected for BRAF and NRAS mutations in plasma taken from 161 patients with high-risk stage II/III melanoma after surgery. They found that patients with higher levels of ctDNA had significantly worse disease-free interval, distant metastasis–free interval, and 5-year overall survival (OS).

“The majority of patients with detectable ctDNA relapsed within 1 year of surgery suggesting that ctDNA in the plasma appears to reveal occult metastatic disease that is not evident on radiological imaging,” the researchers wrote. “Notably, we were able to identify melanoma patients at high risk of both distant metastatic relapse and local recurrence, which is consistent with studies showing that ctDNA can signal micrometastatic disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy post surgical resection in breast cancer, and following surgery for stage II colorectal cancer.”

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