Sam Klempner, MD, Looks at Broad Use of ctDNA in Oncology

Sam Klempner, MD, spoke about how clinicians exploring use of ctDNA in gastrointestinal cancers may inform their research with results from other tumor types.

At the 2022 International Gastric Cancer Conference, Sam Klempner, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke to CancerNetwork® about how other areas of oncology have helped advance circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) research for gastrointestinal cancer. He emphasizes why the ability to learn from other colleagues is so important.


We’ve taken a lot of lessons from [our colleagues treating] genitourinary, breast, and colon cancers who have generated more prospective data and have more prospective ongoing trials. This is going to be like a pan-cancer paradigm where this is a this is a shared biology. If you have breast cancer that has residual ctDNA after surgery, or esophageal cancer, those are unfavorable things. We’re going to be able to learn a lot from our colleagues, and yes, there are efforts in [the treatment of gastric and esophageal cancers] to do 2 things: one is to analyze collected blood from completed clinical trials, which will give us a lot of well-annotated and well-collected data; two, is to prospectively validate ctDNA. There are some concepts in development where patients would be assigned to a therapy based on a ctDNA status.