The ability of Foundation Medicine’s liquid biopsy to pick out breast cancer patients with a high chance of disease recurrence is another feather in the Roche subsidiary’s cap. Data presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium concerned patients with triple-negative breast cancer who had undergone surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy – a group at high risk of relapse – enrolled in a phase II study. The presence of circulating tumour DNA, as detected by FoundationOne Liquid, was significantly associated with both lower distant disease-free survival and overall survival, with ctDNA-positive patients having a risk of death 4.1 times greater than ctDNA-negative patients. The trial also found that the absence of both ctDNA and circulating tumour cells was significantly associated with increased distant disease-free survival. “This study shows that liquid biopsy testing … can provide information on prognosis, and that prognosis for recurrence can help guide therapy,” Brian Alexander, Foundation Medicine’s chief medical officer, told Vantage. The test could also help stratify patients for future post-neoadjuvant trials, he said. A newer iteration of the test, including the immunotherapy biomarkers microsatellite instability and blood tumour mutational burden, is on course to become the first FDA-approved liquid biopsy, with a decision from the agency expected next year.