Expert Describes the Role ctDNA Testing May Play in the Multidisciplinary Care of Colorectal Cancer

An expert from Natera shares multidisciplinary takeaways from the GALAXY cohort of the CIRCULATE-Japan study, assessing circulating tumor DNA as a prognostic biomarker for resectable colorectal cancer.

Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) may have a beneficial role to play in the multidisciplinary care of patients with resectable colorectal cancer (CRC) from surgeons to medical oncologists to radiation oncologists, according to Minetta Liu, MD.

CancerNetwork® spoke with Liu, chief medical officer of oncology at Natera, about data from the observational GALAXY arm of the CIRCULATE-Japan study in which investigators evaluated the use of pre- and post-surgical ctDNA testing in patients with stage II to IV surgically resectable CRC.

Liu indicated that ctDNA testing may be a valuable tool for multidisciplinary decision-making, especially with regard to treatment de-escalation..


[It is] increasingly recognized across colorectal cancer and other malignancies that we need a multidisciplinary approach. There are surgeons involved [along with] medical oncologists and radiation oncologists; all of the support systems are really built around a patient.

ctDNA has the power to assist with decision-making. Here, we're looking at it with respect to adjuvant chemotherapy, but surgical decision-making is certainly important, as well. The hope is that the multidisciplinary teams will look at ctDNA testing and try to incorporate that in the continuum of care for all of our patients.


Kotani D, Oki E, Nakamura Y, et al. Molecular residual disease and efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with clinical stage II-IV resectable colorectal cancer. Nature Medicine. Published online January 16, 2023. doi:10.1038/s41591-022-02115-4