Liquid Biopsy for Early Cancer Detection - the Nasopharyngeal Cancer Model

Date of Event:

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong

Supporting Organisation:

Take 2 Health Limited


Dr. Lam Wai Kei Jacky

Assistant Professor,

Department of Chemical Pathology,

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) is most prevalent in Southern China and it is one of the common cancers in Hong Kong.

Detection of NPC is hard and particularly the examination of the nasopharynx is challenging.

Liquid biopsy provides new avenues for early cancer detection with the potential for detection at an early stage, treatment modification, and surveillance of head and neck cancers.

In a landmark study in 2017, Chan et al. examined over 20,000 Southeast Asian male subjects and showed that EBV cfDNA in plasma samples. This study suggested the early NPC detection could potentially result in better outcomes for patients with NPC. The patients identified by screening were at significantly earlier stages which may improve the progression-free survival and reduce treatment-associated morbidity.

The application of the liquid biopsy early cancer detection could be useful in screening for early asymptomatic NPC in populations with a high prevalence of the disease.

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