PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Liquid biopsies can rapidly detect residual disease following cervical chemoradiation, study finds

Non-invasive tests may help identify patients facing higher risk for cervical cancer recurrence, enabling early intervention

2023-10-01
(Press-News.org) SAN DIEGO, October 1, 2023 — Two liquid biopsy tests that look for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the blood accurately identified patients with a high risk of cervical cancer recurrence after the completion of chemoradiation, a new study confirms. Findings will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting. 

The study compared two novel tests – a digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) test and a sequencing test for genetic material from HPV, the main cause of cervical cancer – and found they were equally effective at identifying residual disease in the blood of patients who recently completed radiation and chemotherapy for cervical cancer. Earlier detection allows for earlier treatment of residual disease and potentially better survival rates. 

“These non-invasive tests can detect residual disease following chemoradiation treatment earlier than imaging or a clinical exam,” said lead study author Kathy Han, MD, a radiation oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center at the University of Toronto. “We can detect very minimal disease, before it grows bigger, which potentially will enable us to intervene earlier and improve outcomes for people with cervical cancer.”

Roughly 11,500 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S., and an estimated 4,000 Americans die from the disease each year. Approximately 30-40% of patients with cervical cancer develop tumor recurrence following chemoradiation, and currently, residual disease is often detected too late to improve survival rates.

Tissue biopsy has long been considered the gold standard for identifying tumors, but it requires an invasive procedure to sample enough tumor tissue to be visualized on imaging, and it provides a snapshot only of a specific tumor region. Liquid biopsies can detect microscopic components of tumors in bodily fluids such as blood or urine, providing a less invasive option to assess malignancy. Blood tests are the most widely used type of liquid biopsy and can identify circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), circulating RNA and other markers that signal the presence of cancer, including HPV.

Because these tests can detect fragments of the HPV virus that remain in the blood following chemoradiation but before tumors recur, “liquid biopsies provide insight before tissue biopsy becomes possible,” said Dr. Han. “If we can predict who might be at higher risk of recurrence, it may be a signal to clinicians to make sure these patients are followed more closely.”

In a previous, pilot study, Dr. Han and her team collected blood samples from 20 patients with cervical cancer before and after chemoradiation treatment. Using digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) tests, they found people with detectable HPV ctDNA at the end of chemoradiation had worse outcomes than those with no detectable HPV ctDNA.

This new study sought to validate those findings in a larger sample of patients, using both dPCR and more sophisticated HPV sequencing tests. To do so, researchers prospectively enrolled 70 patients from four Canadian centers; all participants were diagnosed with HPV-positive cervical cancer and treated with chemoradiation. Patients were followed for a median of 2.2 years.

Patients gave blood samples before treatment; they also received blood tests immediately after treatment, between four to six weeks post-treatment and 12 weeks post-treatment. Patients with detectable HPV ctDNA in their blood at each of these three timepoints had substantially worse progression-free survival rates than those with no detectable HPV in their blood.

Specifically, 53% of patients with detectable HPV ctDNA immediately following chemoradiation were progression-free two years later, compared to 87% of patients without detectable HPV ctDNA immediately after treatment. The difference was even more pronounced at the 12-week mark; patients with detectable HPV ctDNA three months following chemoradiation had a 26% two-year progression-free survival rate, compared to 85% for those without.

“We were happy to see that we could validate our initial results,” said Dr. Han. “We were surprised, however, to find no significant differences between the digital PCR test and the HPV sequencing test. Even though HPV sequencing was more sensitive than digital PCR, both approaches returned similar results after treatment.”

In recent years, advances in technology have accelerated the use of liquid biopsies, which are believed to hold great potential for non-invasive cancer screening in high-risk populations. However, the tests are not yet widely available.

One of the challenges with making HPV ctDNA testing widely available for people with cervical cancer is the variety of HPV types that cause the disease, said Dr. Han, noting that 11 distinct HPV types were detected in their analysis. Yet Dr. Han said the HPV sequencing test was capable of detecting all 11 types with high accuracy and suggested that it could become a generalizable approach for HPV-positive cervical cancer.

Expanding access to liquid biopsies is also necessary, said Dr. Han, and will be crucial for future research using liquid biopsies to identify patients at high-risk of recurrence and randomizing them to intensive versus standard treatment.

###

See this study presented:

News Briefing: Monday, October 2, 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. Details here. Register here. Scientific Presentation: Sunday, October 1, 8:00 a.m. Pacific time, San Diego Convention Center. Email press@astro.org for access to the live stream or recording. Abstract Title: Clinical validation of HPV ctDNA for early detection of residual disease following chemoradiation in cervical cancer (Abstract 105) Attribution to the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting is requested in all coverage. View our meeting press kit at www.astro.org/annualmeetingpress.

ABOUT ASTRO

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with nearly 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. Radiation therapy contributes to 40% of global cancer cures, and more than a million Americans receive radiation treatments for cancer each year. For information on radiation therapy, visit RTAnswers.org. To learn more about ASTRO, visit our website and media center and follow us on social media.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Metaphors for human fertilization are evolving, study shows

2023-10-01
New Haven, Conn. — In a common metaphor used to describe human fertilization, sperm cells are competitors racing to penetrate a passive egg. But as critics have noted, the description is also a “fairy tale,” rooted in cultural beliefs about masculinity and femininity. A new study by Yale sociologist Rene Almeling provides evidence that this metaphor remains widely used despite the profound shift in recent decades in social and scientific views about gender, sex, and sexuality. But her findings, based ...

Study suggests threshold for type 2 diabetes diagnosis in women under 50 years should be lowered

2023-10-01
New research to be presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg, Germany (2-6 October) and published in the journal Diabetes Therapy suggests that the diagnosis threshold for type 2 diabetes (T2D) should be lowered in women aged under 50 years, since natural blood loss through menstruation could be affecting their blood sugar management.  The study is by Dr Adrian Heald, Salford Royal Hospital, UK, and colleagues. Analysis of the national diabetes ...

Synergistic work of cations in anion exchange membranes for OH- transport in fuel cells

Synergistic work of cations in anion exchange membranes for OH- transport in fuel cells
2023-09-30
Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) have gained attention in the process of fuel cell development because they operate in alkaline environments, the redox reaction rate at the electrodes is faster, and non-precious metal catalysts such as Ni, Co, and Ag can be used, which reduces the cost of fuel cells. However, the mobility of OH- is only 56.97% of that of H+ under the same conditions, and its stability is poor, so improving the ionic conductivity and mechanical properties of anion exchange membranes (AEM) is the key to the commercialization ...

Hairy polymer balls help get genetic blueprints inside T-cells for blood cancer therapy

Hairy polymer balls help get genetic blueprints inside T-cells for blood cancer therapy
2023-09-30
Tokyo, Japan – Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have realized a new polymer that can effectively transport plasmid DNA into T-cells during chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, a key treatment for blood cancer. Importantly, it can get genes into floating T-cells, not only ones fixed to surfaces. It is stable, non-toxic, and doesn’t use viruses. It outperforms polyion compounds considered a gold standard in the field, paving the way for new therapies. T-cells, or lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell that helps our immune system fight germs and protect us from disease. Recently, technology has become available that helps reprogram T-cells to fight cancer. ...

Reducing fishing gear could save whales with low impacts to California’s crab fishermen

2023-09-30
(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Sometimes simple solutions are better. It all depends on the nature of the problem. For humpback whales, the problem is the rope connecting a crab trap on the seafloor to the buoy on the surface. And for fishermen, it’s fishery closures caused by whale entanglements. Managing this issue is currently a major item on California’s agenda, and it appears less fishing gear may be the optimal solution. So says a team of researchers led by Christopher Free, at UC Santa Barbara, after modeling the benefits and impacts that several management strategies would have on whales and fishermen. ...

Engineering researchers to study wireless communication and machine learning with NSF grant

2023-09-30
A virtual reality (VR) game crashes. A robot rolls dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. An autonomous vehicle speeds toward a pedestrian. Without intelligent control happening every millisecond, accidents can occur. This control can mean applying the brake of an autonomous vehicle to save a life or creating a more user-friendly augmented reality experience. Two professors in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University are working to enhance and advance the future ...

Wheat's long non-coding RNAs unveiled: A leap in understanding grain development

Wheats long non-coding RNAs unveiled: A leap in understanding grain development
2023-09-30
Wheat is a global staple food and plays a pivotal role in the livelihoods of billions of people. Although long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been recognized as crucial regulators of numerous biological processes, our knowledge of lncRNAs associated with wheat (Triticum aestivum) grain development remains minimal. Seed Biology published an online paper entitled “A comprehensive atlas of long non-coding RNAs provides insight into grain development in wheat” on 04 September 2023. To ...

New study will examine irritable bowel syndrome as long COVID symptom

New study will examine irritable bowel syndrome as long COVID symptom
2023-09-30
Researchers with the ongoing Arizona CoVHORT research study at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health were awarded $3.2 million by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for a five-year study of gastrointestinal symptoms, specifically irritable bowel syndrome, as a condition of long COVID. Led by epidemiologist Kristen Pogreba-Brown, PhD, MPH, the CoVHORT study is a longitudinal research study of COVID-19 and post-COVID conditions. The ...

Department of Energy announces up to $500 million for basic research to advance the frontiers of science

2023-09-29
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $500 million in funding for basic research in support of DOE’s clean energy, economic, and national security goals. The funding will advance the priorities of DOE’s Office of Science and its major programs, including Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Isotope R&D and Production, and Accelerator R&D and Production. This funding opportunity will help achieve the Biden Administration’s ...

Neural activity associated with motor commands changes depending on context

Neural activity associated with motor commands changes depending on context
2023-09-29
Standing at a crosswalk, the signal changes from “don’t walk,” to “walk.” You might step out into the street straight away, or you might look both ways before you cross. In either scenario, you see the light change, you cross the street. But the context is different; in one case, you didn’t think twice. In the other, you waited; looked to the left and right; saw the coast was clear; then stepped into the street. Researchers have known that certain brain activity when you see the light change and certain brain activity when you step out into the street are the same no matter the context -- there’s a known “pathway” ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

UK/Portuguese study strongly suggests antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” are being passed from cats and dogs to their owners

Researchers study effects of solvation and ion valency on metallopolymers

Physicists solve puzzle about ancient galaxy found by Webb telescope

Clear guidelines needed for synthetic data to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness study says

Report finds significant gender and racial inequities in the educational measurement profession

University of Houston and Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University forge strategic energy alliance

Rice team demonstrates miniature brain stimulator in humans

Jennifer Stinson receives prestigious Barer-Flood Prize in health services research

First insights into the genetic bottleneck characterizing early sheep husbandry in the Neolithic period

Theories that explain the crisis in democracy are inadequate for Latin America, experts say

Starving cells hijack protein transport stations

Where have all the right whales gone?

Researchers find no link between COVID-19 virus and development of asthma in children

Cell’s ‘garbage disposal’ may have another role: helping neurons near skin sense the environment

Study reveals potential to reverse lung fibrosis using the body’s own healing technique

International team co-led by a BSC researcher discovers more than 50 new deep-sea species in one of the most unexplored areas of the planet

Cleveland Innovation District partners exceeding many targets set by state and JobsOhio

A third of women experience migraines associated with menstruation, most commonly when premenopausal

MD Anderson Research Highlights for April 12, 2024

Soft Robotics appoints new Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Mazzolai, PhD

Wiley releases Mass Spectra of Designer Drugs 2024 to accelerate forensics analysis of fentanyls, cannabinoids, and more

Freestanding emergency departments are popular, but do they function as intended?

University of Cincinnati experts present at national neurology conference

Bonobos are more aggressive than previously thought

How seaweed became multicellular

Melanomas resist drugs by ‘breaking’ genes

Africa’s iconic flamingos threatened by rising lake levels, study shows

Vaccination timeliness among US children ages 0-19 months

Changes in permanent contraception procedures among young adults following the Dobbs decision

Semaglutide vs endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty for weight loss

[Press-News.org] Liquid biopsies can rapidly detect residual disease following cervical chemoradiation, study finds
Non-invasive tests may help identify patients facing higher risk for cervical cancer recurrence, enabling early intervention