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Craig Shriver, MD, FACS
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
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.
Significant advancements have been made in liquid biology technologies. Questions remain, however, regarding utility of these assays as part of routine clinical care. Standard protocols for sample collection, processing, and analysis are needed in order for liquid biopsy to become an accepted clinical practice. Drs. Shriver and Kuhn are part of a collaboration known as Blood PAC that is focused on creating an open source of liquid biopsy data from breast and other cancer patients that will both standardize liquid biopsy methods and accelerate discovery of biomarkers to inform treatment decisions and drug discovery.
Full Research Summary
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.
The Blood PAC (Profiling Atlas in Cancer) Initiative was formed in 2016 in response to the White House Cancer Moonshot. This collaborative effort aims to establish an open database for liquid biopsies that will expedite the development of safe and effective blood-based diagnostics, accelerate drug development, streamline clinical research, and dramatically improve the lives of cancer patients.
The project supported by BCRF, led by Dr. Craig Shriver and BCRF colleague Peter Kuhn, will 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 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.