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Liquid Biopsies

The Liquid Biopsy Workflow

Anders Stahlberg works both in the academic setting as Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg and in the clinical setting at Clinical Genetics & Genomics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Together with his colleagues, this means all aspects of circulating cell-free tumour DNA are covered; from basic science and development, understanding why and how liquid biopsies should be undertaken, to clinically focused questions that the patient will hopefully benefit from.

Ahead of the Liquid Biopsies Congress later this year, we spoke to him about his work.

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Strategic screening enables effective biomarker discovery

During my eight years at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, I led a protein technologies group. We developed a protein expression library, and then high-content protein arrays. In total, we made arrays with 10,000 different human proteins.

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Why do biomarkers fail?

When conducting an experiment to identify biomarkers, it is crucial to design the experiment properly. 80-90% of all biomarker populations for the last 20 years have not and cannot be reproduced, and the main reason that biomarkers fail is that these experiments are not designed properly. In this post, I will outline two ways in which experiments are poorly designed, and then outline the technological and methodological solution in a later blog.

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Identifying biomarkers to track tumour burden in patient blood

There is a huge need to identify biomarkers to discern which metastatic colorectal cancer patients will benefit from treatment using Regorafenib. Despite being the latest approved drugs for the disease, Regorafenib has limited clinical efficacy and is associated with a number of side effects. However, a lot of patients are treated with Regorafenib as it is the only treatment available for patients who cannot receive anti-EGFR treatment due to K-RAS or BRAF mutation.

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