Dr Isaac Garcia-Murillas is a Staff Scientist at the Breast Cancer Now Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research in London. Dr Garcia-Murillas leads and develops the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and digital PCR (dPCR) technologies to study circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from liquid biopsies. His research interests converge in the clinical utility of ctDNA as a potential biomarker to quantify Minimal Residual Disease, monitor response to treatment, stratify patients to targeted therapies and identify the emergence of drug resistance. Dr Garcia-Murillas read Genetics and Immunology at the University of Aberdeen as an undergraduate student before undertaking his Ph.D. at The University of Cambridge where he worked in the role of lipids as intracellular second messengers. Dr Garcia-Murillas continued his research on signaling pathways as a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Institute of Cancer Research before undertaking his current position.
Frequently, markers identified from NGS profiled tumors are translated into ddPCR assays which enable precision monitoring of a patient over the course of disease and even after health has been restored. This session will illustrate with a number of clinical use cases how dPCR (as demonstrated by ddPCR) is a fit-for-purpose technology approach for serial monitoring of multiple markers in cancer patients. This includes a diversity of marker types such as SNV’s and indels (both driver and passenger), and gene fusions from both truncal rearrangements and drivers of tumorigenesis.