Researchers at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Help Develop New Liquid Biopsy Technique   

Researchers at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Help Develop New Liquid Biopsy Technique

Approach combines cell-free RNA with cell-free DNA in liquid biopsy for hematologic and solid tumors

A new liquid biopsy approach combines cell-free total nucleic acid (cfRNA) with cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in liquid biopsy for hematologic and solid tumor. Researchers from John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center helped develop and verify the new technique in a study published in Heliyon. Their evaluation showed:

  • cfRNA is reliable in detecting fusion genes and cfDNA is reliable in detecting chromosomal gains and losses.
  • Liquid biopsy combining analysis of cfRNA with cfDNA is practical and may provide helpful information for predicting genomic abnormalities, diagnosing neoplasms and evaluating tumor biology and host response.
  • cfRNA is overall more sensitive than cfDNA in detecting mutations. 

While current liquid biopsy methods depend on cfDNA and the evaluation of mutations or methylation patterns, expressed RNA can capture mutations and expression level changes due to methylation, and provide information on cell of origin, growth and proliferation. The new liquid biopsy technique isolates cfDNA and uses targeted next generation sequencing to sequence cfRNA and cfDNA.

The team applied machine learning to show cfRNA was highly predictive of solid tumor diagnosis, B-cell lymphoid neoplasms, T-cell lymphoid neoplasms and myeloid neoplasms. 

Learn more about innovative cancer treatments at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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