Early blood-based liquid biopsy in patients with treatment-naive metastatic adenocarcinoma of the lung: A case series

Michael Peled, Jair Bar, Liat Avni, Sumit Chatterji, Dafna Somech, Addie Dvir, Lior Soussan-Gutman, Amir Onn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Guidelines recommend testing for multiple biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. Blood-based liquid biopsy analyzing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could be used in addition to tumor biopsy genotyping, especially if tissue/time are limiting. Objectives: To investigate the clinical utility of early cfDNA analysis (Guardant360® CDx) in treatment-naive NSCLC patients. Methods: A prospective cohort of treatment-naive patients with metastatic NSCLC who underwent tumor and cfDNA analysis between 12/2018 and 2/2019 were included. Results: Ten patients were included: 6 males, median age 70.5 years (range 48-87), 8 prior smokers. Liquid biopsy was sent when cancer cells were detected in the biopsy specimen. Median time from diagnosis to receiving the report on the last bio-marker from the tumor biopsy was 20 days (range 9-34); median time from blood draw to receiving the cfDNA findings was 9 days (range 7-12). The median difference between the cfDNA and the tumor analysis reports was 20 days (range 9-28). Actionable biomarkers were identified in four patients by both the biopsy analysis and the cfDNA analysis (2cases with EGFR mutations, one with ROSI fusion, and one with EML4-ALK fusion for whom the biopsy analysis also identified an EGFR mutation not detected in the cfDNA analysis). Overall, eight patients received treatment (2 died before treatment initiation). Three patients received biomarker-based treatment (1 osimertinib, 1 alectinib, and 1 crizotinib). Conclusions: These findings suggest that cfDNA analysis should be ordered by the pulmonologists early in the evaluation of patients with NSCLC, which might complement and precede the tumor biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-787
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2021


  • Case series
  • Cell-free DNA
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Lung cancer
  • Precision medicine


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