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Natera, Aarhus University Collaborate on Liquid Biopsy Study for Colorectal Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Natera will collaborate with Denmark's Aarhus University on a research study evaluating circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker to detect residual disease, treatment response, and disease recurrence in colorectal cancer patients.

Researchers at Aarhus plan to evaluate 130 patients with stage I-III colorectal cancer who have previously been treated with surgery and chemotherapy.  They will monitor those patients longitudinally, running Natera's ctDNA assay, Signatera, on blood drawn every three months for up to 36 months.

The goal is to see whether ctDNA levels can help identify minimal residual disease, disease relapse, and/or therapy response in patients, and ultimately to lead to better and earlier detection of relapse.

"Better diagnostic tools in the adjuvant setting are needed, especially with the proven benefit of earlier detection and treatment of disease relapse. We expect that this study of circulating tumor DNA will provide new insights that may help improve patient outcomes," Claus Lindbjerg Andersen, professor of molecular medicine at Aarhus, said in a statement.  

"This study will help define whether personalized ctDNA analysis can improve diagnosis and management in early stage colorectal cancer," added Natera CSO Jimmy Lin.

Natera and Aarhus are also collaborating on a liquid biopsy study for bladder cancer.

Natera launched Signatera in August for research-use only and expects to launch it for clinical use next year.