Optimisation of the liquid biopsy workflow: From research to clinical practice

BJMO - volume 15, issue 1, january 2021

L. Sorber PhD, K. Zwaenepoel PhD, J. Jacobs PhD, C. Rolfo MD, PhD, G. Roeyen MD, PhD, P. Pauwels MD, PhD


The general aim of this thesis was to determine the optimal workflow of circulating cell-free nucleic acid- (cfNA) based liquid biopsy for implementation in routine clinical practice. We started by evaluating several pre-analytical variables of the liquid biopsy workflow. We examined several cfDNA isolation kits, determined the optimal centrifugation protocol for both cfDNA and cfRNA, and determined the cfDNA stabilising efficiency of (specialised) blood collection tube (BCT). Next, we focused on the clinical applicability of liquid biopsy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Based on this work, we specified recommendations regarding (pre-) analytical and biological variables to ensure successful liquid biopsy analysis.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2021;15(1):48-50)

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Targeting driver mutations in non-small-cell lung cancer, beyond the usual suspects (EGFR and ALK)

BJMO - volume 12, issue 5, september 2018

D. Arias , M.A. Flores , Á. Rodríguez , J. de Oliveira , L. Corrales , J.L. Firvida , E.S. Santos MD, L.E. Raez , C. Rolfo MD, PhD

In the last decade, systemic treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer has undergone an unprecedented change because of new targeted therapies and the introduction of immunotherapy. Advances in the understanding of lung cancer biology have led to the discovery of several oncogenic driver genes and the development of drugs that target driver mutations, according to the strategy of ‘personalised therapy’. The bestknown alterations are epidermal growth factor mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangements, but the improvement in genomic technologies and the continuous research in this area have led to the identification of new druggable targets. This is a comprehensive overview focused on the development of targeted therapies and their mechanisms of action.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2018;12(5):223–232)

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Update in immune checkpoint inhibitors in non small cell lung cancer

BJMO - volume 11, issue 6, october 2017

R. Porta , E. Sais MD, A. Nogueira MD, J. Ferri Gandia , A. Coelho MD, F. Passiglia MD, D. Arias Ron , C. Rolfo MD, PhD


After many years of research and many failed attempts, finally the cancer treatments that act on the immune system have paid off. There are several ways to act on the immune system of cancer patients, including vaccination, genetic modification of cells and the inhibition of checkpoint molecules. The latter have had a great development in the last 5 years, not only in the immunogenic tumours but also in other tumours considered non-immunogenic such as lung cancer. In this review we are focusing on the latest findings of immunotherapeutic treatment in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We review those studies that have led to the approval of some of the drugs targeting immune checkpoints as well as those studies with immune checkpoint inhibitors with the potential to play a role in the treatment of NSCLC.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2017;11(6):277–283)

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Lung cancer screening programs: black or white?

BJMO - volume 11, issue 5, september 2017

E. Bustamante PhD, MSc, C. Soza-Ried PhD, MSc, C. Rolfo MD, PhD, L.E. Raez , V. Domínguez MD, E.S. Santos MD, C. Caglevic MD


Lung cancer is a frequent malignancy worldwide with a high mortality rate. Most patients are diagnosed in advanced or metastatic stages that are not amenable to curative treatments, resulting in a poor overall survival rate. Screening programs could provide a solution to this problem, but it is unclear whether the great cost and possible risks that patients must face justify their implementation for lung cancer. This manuscript aims to show the published evidence related to screening programs for lung cancer and the importance and challenges of developing such programs in Latin America.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2017;11(5):242–248)

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