Director Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland
Seeking to advance precision medicine with innovative technologies to improve tumor profiling.
A pilot program is planned to develop and test a blood profiling atlas of breast cancer.
These collaborative efforts will accelerate advances in the clinical management of breast cancer.
The potential value of liquid biopsy in assessing and monitoring cancer patient status is widely appreciated within the breast cancer community. These include the ability to assess tumor biology and tumor evolution in real time that would not be practical or ethical if tissue biopsies were required.
Significant advancements have been made in liquid biology technologies. Questions remain, however regarding the performance and clinical validation of these assays. Standard protocols for sample collection, processing, and analysis are needed in order for liquid biopsy to become an accepted and third-payer approved clinical practice.
This collaborative effort led by Dr. Craig Shriver and BCRF colleague Peter Kuhn aims to develop a pilot program to demonstrate the feasibility and future use of a Blood Profiling Atlas in breast cancer.
A comprehensive ‘fluid biopsy’ for breast cancer would incorporate a number of circulating factors, including rare cancer cells, circulating genomic DNA fragments, circulating RNA fragments and exosomes (small vesicles containing tumor proteins and genetic material) for a more complete description of the disease.
A peripheral blood sample provides the opportunity for a minimally invasive test that could be performed sufficiently frequently during treatment to provide real time actionable data to guide treatment strategies and conversations with patients.
This project will leverage existing resources of the participants to compile and analyze data on liquid biopsy approaches in breast cancer and will conduct a demonstration experiment in selected breast cancer scenarios.
COL Craig Shriver, a native of Reading PA, earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from Albright College, and continued on to acquire his Medical Degree from Temple University School of Medicine. Upon his graduation he was commissioned in the US Army Medical Corps (1984). His post graduate training included his surgical internship and residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). Having been director of the Breast Center at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and now at the new Walter Reed Bethesda, along with being the PI of a decade-long breast tissue banking initiative as well as a global genomic/proteomic profiling project on thousands of collected specimens, COL Shriver has a deep knowledge of the state of the research in molecular biology of breast diseases and cancer. He has worked closely in a scientific multidisciplinary format with PhD and MD scientists to bring the extensive, relevant clinical problems, into the laboratory for analysis and investigation.