Liquid biopsies are emerging as a method to analyze the molecular profile of tumors through a simple blood test. Solid tumors shed biomarkers that circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream. The most common primary malignant brain tumors in adults – glioblastomas – represent a unique problem as conventional biopsies may not reflect the tumor heterogeneity that makes these tumors highly resistant to many treatments. In addition, repeated biopsies to monitor changes in tumor genetics over time are not feasible in the brain. Therefore, liquid biopsies may represent a noninvasive way to better define the heterogeneity of glioblastomas, monitor response and resistance to treatment, and direct targeted therapies.
Stephen Bagley, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, recently presented a webinar where he gave an overview of the current state of research for liquid biopsy in patients with brain tumors and introduced the technique's potential to help assess the tumor immune environment and guide patient selection for immunotherapies. He also presented the emerging data on using focused ultrasound to enhance the yield of liquid biopsies for brain tumors.
Liquid Biopsy for Brain Tumors: Recent Advances and Future Directions
Stephen J. Bagley, MD, MSCE
Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Abramson Cancer Center and Penn Brain Tumor Center
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About the Speaker
Dr. Bagley is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a board-certified medical oncologist. His primary area of research and clinical interest is in Neuro-Oncology. After completing medical school, residency, and fellowship at Penn, Dr. Bagley completed a formal clinical research training program to obtain a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology degree, with a formal concentration in the design and analysis of clinical trials. His current clinical and translational research focus is the development of early phase, investigator-initiated clinical trials for glioblastoma, as well as novel methods for integrating liquid biopsy into the care of patients with brain tumors. He is the principal investigator of multiple currently enrolling brain tumor trials at Penn and leads Penn’s research efforts to develop liquid biopsy patients with glioblastoma.