Within the framework of the SAGITTARIUS project, researchers aim to optimise the clinical management of locoregional stage II high-risk/stage III colon cancer (LRCC).
Over half of this patient group relapses within two years after treatment due to residual disease that cannot be detected by conventional means. Hence, SAGITTARIUS offers an alternative strategy to detect if any cancer remains in the patient’s body. This strategy involves harnessing the potential presence of tumour-associated DNA. DNA is the genetic material that can be found in the nucleus of cells. In cancer patients, tumour-associated DNA is present in the bloodstream, not just inside the cells. The name of this DNA is circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA).
Because ctDNA may reflect the entire tumour genome, it has gained traction for its potential clinical utility. Liquid biopsies in the form of blood draws taken at various time points can be utilised to monitor tumour progression after treatment. The SAGITTARIUS trial aims to prove the efficacy of using ctDNA detection to guide the clinical management of stage III and high-risk stage II colon cancer patients. The trial will rely on the diagnostic power of ctDNA technology to guide and personalise therapeutic interventions. Based on patient satisfaction, the improvement in diagnosis, treatment, and care will be measured.