Circulating tumour DNA monitoring and early treatment for relapse: views from patients with early-stage melanoma.

Victoria G. Woof, Rebecca J. Lee, Paul Lorigan, David P French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) monitoring is a new technology that detects cancer DNA fragments in blood circulation. Regular monitoring with ctDNA has the potential to detect and treat cancer relapse earlier, but there is little evidence on patient acceptability. This study examines views of patients with early-stage melanoma on the acceptability of the test and early treatment.
A qualitative cross-sectional design using one-to-one semi-structured telephone interviews was employed. Twenty-five patients diagnosed with early-stage melanoma (stage IA-IIC) were asked for their views on ctDNA monitoring and early treatment for relapse. Interviews were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.
Two themes were generated: ctDNA monitoring would add service value where participants described regular ctDNA monitoring in follow-up care as more reassuring, more “scientific” than skin checks and preferable to scans. Test results provide opportunity and knowledge focuses on how participants wanted to know when to expect results to manage anxiety, with a positive result seen as an opportunity to receive treatment early.
Participants were positive about ctDNA monitoring and early treatment, would welcome extra surveillance and would trust ctDNA tests. This indicates feasibility of wider implementation of ctDNA tests, which have applicability for many tumour types and disease stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1450–1456
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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