Recent breakthroughs in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) technologies present a compelling opportunity to combine this emerging liquid biopsy approach with the field of radiogenomics, the study of how tumor genomics correlate with radiotherapy response and radiotoxicity. Canonically, ctDNA levels reflect metastatic tumor burden, although newer ultrasensitive technologies can be used after curative-intent radiotherapy of localized disease to assess ctDNA for minimal residual disease (MRD) detection or for post-treatment surveillance. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated the potential utility of ctDNA analysis across various cancer types managed with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy, including sarcoma and cancers of the head and neck, lung, colon, rectum, bladder, and prostate. Additionally, because peripheral blood mononuclear cells are routinely collected alongside ctDNA to filter out mutations associated with clonal hematopoiesis, these cells are also available for single nucleotide polymorphism analysis and could potentially be used to detect patients at high risk for radiotoxicity. Lastly, future ctDNA assays will be utilized to better assess locoregional MRD in order to more precisely guide adjuvant radiotherapy after surgery in cases of localized disease, and guide ablative radiotherapy in cases of oligometastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-278
Number of pages17
JournalSeminars in Radiation Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Emerging Roles of Circulating Tumor DNA for Increased Precision and Personalization in Radiation Oncology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this