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Circulating Tumor DNA Analysis Detects Minimal Residual Disease and Predicts Recurrence in Patients with Stage II Colon Cancer

Detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) after resection of stage II colon cancer may identify those at the highest risk of recurrence and help inform adjuvant treatment decisions. We used massively-parallel-sequencing–based assays to evaluate the ability of ctDNA to detect minimal residual disease in 1046 plasma samples from a prospective cohort of 230 patients with resected stage II colon cancer. In patients not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy, ctDNA was detected post-operatively in 14 of 178 (7.9%) patients, 11 (79%) of whom had recurred at a median follow-up of 27 months; recurrence occurred in only 16 (9.8 %) of the 164 patients with negative ctDNA (HR, 18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.9 to 36; P<0.001). In patients treated with chemotherapy, the presence of ctDNA following completion of chemotherapy was also associated with an inferior recurrence-free survival (HR, 11; 95% CI, 1.8 to 68; P=0.001). ctDNA detection after stage II colon cancer resection provides direct evidence of residual disease and identifies patients at very high risk of recurrence.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001003579 Illumina MiSeq 49
Publications Citations
Circulating tumor DNA analysis detects minimal residual disease and predicts recurrence in patients with stage II colon cancer.
Sci Transl Med 8: 2016 346ra92