Liquid Biopsies

 Liquid biopsies allow for easy sampling of a cancer’s genome by a simple blood draw. This not only enables access to crucial molecular information in patients that have difficult-to-biopsy lesions, it also provides an opportunity to gain insight into a cancer’s heterogeneity across multiple lesions (spatial heterogeneity). Furthermore, it enables us to capture the clonal evolution of a cancer over time (temporal heterogeneity). To this end, we have developed a novel liquid biopsy-based targeted sequencing platform, utilizing unique molecular identifiers and in silico background suppression to achieve superior sensitivity and specificity. Based on this, we have initiated a large-scale genomic profiling study of Hodgkin lymphoma and have investigated persistence of somatic mutations in plasma as a marker for minimal residual disease (MRD). Other aspects of this project deal with response prediction and clonal evolution under therapeutic pressure. Beyond Hodgkin lymphoma, we are leveraging collaborations to evaluate our platform in lung cancer, esophageal cancer and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.