Stacey A. Cohen, MD, Discusses the Relevance of ctDNA as a Prognostic Marker for Resected Stage I-III CRC

Based on findings from a real-world retrospective analysis, Stacey A. Cohen, MD, discussed the prognostic value of post-surgical minimal residual disease detection in patients with stage I to III colorectal cancer.

In a recent interview with CancerNetwork® during the 2022 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO), Stacey A. Cohen, MD, a physician at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a physician and associate professor of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and associate professor of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discussed the significance of findings from a retrospective real-world analysis assessing the prognostic value of post-surgical circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in a cohort of patients with stage I to III colorectal cancer (CRC). Investigators concluded that the presence of ctDNA post surgery may be prognostic of clinical recurrence for those diagnosed with CRC.

A total of 16,347 patients were included in the overall cohort with a total of 44,880 plasma samples. The clinically annotated cohort had 417 patients and 2538 plasma samples. The samples were assessed with a personalized, tumor-informed multiplex polymerase chain reaction, next-generation sequencing assay known as Signatera. Presence of post-operative minimal residual disease was significantly associated with a shorter recurrence-free survival rate. Moreover, one of the central takeaways from the analysis was that using the presence of post-surgical ctDNA to inform treatment decisions may allow for faster therapeutic decision-making and thus improve future patient outcomes.


[The ctDNA analysis results are] very supportive of what we've seen previously, but again, looking at a broader patient population. It really adds to what we now know about ctDNA: that this seems to be a very good prognostic biomarker, that it is of a lot of interest, and that the more we learn about it, the better we're able to help guide patient management in the future.


Cohen SA, Kasi PM, Aushev VN, et al. Real-world monitoring of circulating tumor DNA reliably predicts cancer recurrence in patients with resected stages I-III colorectal cancer. Ann Oncol. 2022;33(suppl 7):S136-S196. doi:10.1016/annonc/annonc1048