Center for Oral/Head & Neck Oncology Research
UCLA School of Dentistry
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Los Angeles, CA
Novel KRAS ctDNA for Liquid Biopsy Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), or pancreatic cancer, is one of the deadliest cancers worldwide. The median survival of patients remains shorter than 6 months and the 5-year overall survival is only 6%. This situation is predominantly due to the late diagnosis. Population-based screening for pancreatic cancer has not been possible due to the lack of a reliable and non-invasive screening method. Liquid biopsy to detect genomic alterations in tumor tissue via peripheral body fluid analysis is an emerging technology that can be utilized for early detection of pancreatic cancer. An efficient non-invasive tool to screen the high-risk cohorts will greatly aid in decision-making for further diagnosis and treatment.
We have recently demonstrated the clinical utility and performance of the “Electric Field Induced Release and Measurement (EFIRM)” technology for detection of actionable EGFR mutations in plasma and saliva in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients with near 100% concordance with tissue biopsy-based genotyping. Since 90% of pancreatic cancer patients harbored at least one KRAS mutation, the EFIRM technology is translatable to the detection/risk assessment of pancreatic cancer. The non-invasive nature of EFIRM will allow longitudinal dynamic monitoring of KRAS mutations to evaluate treatment response. Integration of the EFIRM Liquid Biopsy (eLB) assay into pancreatic cancer screening and risk assessment programs will augment and enhance the currently available diagnostic options for tumor detection such as computed tomography (CT) and endoscopy. The outcome of this study will set the basis for clinical utilization of EFIRM-based LB targeting KRAS and other PDAC-associated mutations for early detection and risk assessment.