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November 05, 2020
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Beyond Traditional Biopsy for Esophageal Cancer: Novel Sampling Methods to Improve Patient Care


Professor of Cancer Prevention,
Hutchison-MRC Research Centre, University of Cambridge

This webinar will provide an overview of novel proximal and distal sampling methods that have promise to improve patient outcomes from esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer is a global public health concern due to late presentation and poor patient outcomes. Esophageal adenocarcinoma has increased six-fold over the past 30 years in the UK, northwest Europe, Australia, and North America and it is generally preceded by a premalignant condition called Barrett’s esophagus.

In this webinar, Rebecca Fitzgerald of the Hutchison-MRC Research Center at the University of Cambridge, will discuss two non-endoscopic methods that show promise for improving patient care.

The first method relates to earlier diagnosis. Traditional diagnosis relies on endoscopy for those patients presenting with persistent heartburn unresponsive to medication, or alarm symptoms such as weight loss and dysphagia. Non-endoscopic methods that are affordable, acceptable, and easy to provide in the primary care setting could improve early detection. The Cytosponge-TFF3 test, combines a minimally invasive cell sampling device with immunohistochemical staining for the biomarker trefoil factor 3. The approach is a promising non-endoscopic method with substantial evidence to underpin its use, and Dr. Fitzgerald will present data from the recent randomized controlled trial BEST3.

For those patients diagnosed with invasive adenocarcinoma, earlier detection of relapse and indicators of response to therapy would help to tailor treatment. Blood biopsy to detect circulating tumor DNA is one such approach and Dr. Fitzgerald will present data to show the potential of a ctDNA mutation panel to detect relapse post-surgery in patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma in a retrospective study.

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