Genetic testing company Natera has partnered with the Belgian Institut Jules Bordet to advance breast cancer research.
The collaboration will use Natera’s Signatera research-use-only (RUO) circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) assay to assess molecular response and minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with early stage breast cancer.
Signatera (RUO) ctDNA assay is designed for treatment monitoring and MRD assessment.
Unlike the available liquid biopsy assays, the Signatera methodology provides each patient with a customised blood test devised to match the mutations found in the respective patient’s tumour tissue to maximise sensitivity and specificity.
Signatera (RUO) also enables tracking additional mutations of interest for clinical studies.
Natera will assess nearly 300 plasma specimens prospectively procured from 80 patients diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer.
Patients were treated with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery and were subsequently under observation to detect possible recurrence.
Led by Institut Jules Bordet Medical Oncology Department attending physician Dr Michail Ignatiadis, the study will correlate results of the Signatera assay with clinical results, which will also include pathological response and event-free survival.
Dr Ignatiadis said: “We are pleased to work with Natera to explore this exciting new approach for evaluating treatment response in the neoadjuvant setting.
“Detection and monitoring of circulating tumor DNA has great potential to improve patient care by assisting therapeutic decision-making both pre and post-surgery.”
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women in the US with nearly 250,000 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer annually.