AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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DNA From Cerebrospinal Fluid May Effectively Monitor Brain Metastases

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Sequencing DNA from cerebrospinal fluid may be a more effective method of detecting and characterizing genomic alterations in brain tumor metastases than sequencing DNA from plasma, according to research published in the journal Nature Communications. The aim of the research, conducted by the Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain, was to determine whether analyzing ctDNA from cerebrospinal fluid would be more useful in detecting and accurately characterizing and monitoring metastases in the brain. To do this, the researchers obtained tumor samples and sequenced tumor DNA from 12 patients — four with glioblastomas, six with brain metastases from breast cancer and two with brain metastases from lung cancer. The researchers found that ctDNA from cerebrospinal fluid was more representative of brain tumor genomic alterations than ctDNA from plasma, and putative actionable gene mutations and copy-number alterations. The researchers also found that ctDNA from cerebrospinal fluid may complement the diagnosis of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. This procedure is much less invasive than traditional methods of obtaining samples of brain tumor tissues, and could lead to changes in the way brain metastases are detected, monitored and treated. To read more about this study, click here.

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