Rebecca Brandes is a member of the Companion Diagnostics (CDx) Division specializing in Oncology Market Development at Agilent. This team is charged with the objective to help with the education and consultation on advanced genomic technologies for use in CDx including expertise in genomic technologies, clinical laboratory workflows, current testing methodologies and paradigms and genetics and oncology. Joining Agilent in 2014 with 18 years of expertise gained from leadership roles, her background includes CLIA-CAP lab operations, developing and submitting products for regulation, developing integrated workflows for routine testing and business development for companion diagnostics with an emphasis on Oncology. She holds degrees from High Point University in Biology, Biochemistry and Anthropology and a master's in Molecular Genetics from Wake Forest University. Prior to joining QIAGEN, Asuragen, Affymetrix, Stanford’s StartX not-for-profit accelerator and Agilent to lead their marketing organizations, Rebecca spent several years running a high-throughput, CAP/CLIA clinical molecular oncology laboratory.
As targeted therapies have opened up precision medicine approaches to cancer treatment, oncologists and patients are increasingly moving to liquid biopsy as a front-line diagnostic approach to detection of actionable mutations to enable faster treatment decisions. Mutation detection in ctDNA has been shown to highly correlate to tissue biopsy for making treatment decisions, faster results and has the additional advantage of simplified specimen collection. Liquid biopsy represents an emerging paradigm shift in oncology practice and this session will discuss its promise and challenges from the Pharma, biotech and medical affairs perspectives.