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Plasma circulating tumor DNA as a potential tool for disease monitoring in head and neck cancer.

Journal article
Authors Matthew Egyud
Praveen Sridhar
Anand Devaiah
Emiko Yamada
Stefanie Saunders
Anders Ståhlberg
Stefan Filges
Paul M Krzyzanowski
Irina Kalatskaya
Wei Jiao
Lincoln D Stein
Scharukh Jalisi
Tony E Godfrey
Published in Head & neck
Volume 41
Issue 5
Pages 1351-1358
ISSN 1097-0347
Publication year 2019
Published at Sahlgrenska Cancer Center
Department of Laboratory Medicine
Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine
Pages 1351-1358
Language en
Keywords cancer biomarker, diagnostics, cell-free DNA, circulating tumor DNA, liquid biopsy.
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology


Recommendations for perioperative therapy in head and neck cancer are not explicit and recurrence occurs frequently. Circulating tumor DNA is an emerging cancer biomarker, but has not been extensively explored for detection of recurrence in head and neck cancer.Patients diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were recruited into the study protocol. Tumors were sequenced to identify patient-specific mutations. Mutations were then identified in plasma circulating tumor DNA from pre-treatment blood samples and longitudinally during standard follow-up. Circulating tumor DNA status during follow-up was correlated to disease recurrence.Samples were taken from eight patients. Tumor mutations were verified in seven patients. Baseline circulating tumor DNA was positive in six patients. Recurrence occurred in four patients, two of whom had detectable circulating tumor DNA prior to recurrence.Circulating tumor DNA is a potential tool for disease and recurrence monitoring following curative therapy in head and neck cancer, allowing for better prognostication, and/or modification of treatment strategies.

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