ESMO Perspectives’ KOL Experience: VHIO’s Joan Seoane on the promise of cerebrospinal fluid as liquid biopsy for the precise characterization and molecular diagnosis of brain tumors


Just published in the latest edition of ESMO Perspectives e-magazine, the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) caught up with Joan Seoane, Co-Program Director of Preclinical & Translational Research at VHIO and ICREA Professor, to discuss how his pioneering research is pushing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a liquid biopsy for the finger on the pulse policing, tracking and characterization of brain cancer closer to the clinic.

Building on the successes of his earlier, groundbreaking research* that led to proof-of-concept that CSF can be exploited as a liquid biopsy since it contains high levels of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), his most recent reported findings**- also carried out in close collaboration with other VHIO groups and colleagues at the Vall d´Hebron University Hospital (HUVH), subsequently evidenced that ctDNA in the CSF of patients with diffuse gliomas can be used to both complement and  more effectively facilitate diagnosis and prognosis with greater precision.

In this present KOL Experience interview entitled Beyond blood with liquid biopsies, Joan chapters his research to-date and in so doing, underlines the promise of this novel approach, cautions over the current challenges that are preventing liquid biopsy from entering prime time, and signposts next-step directions.

To access this superb ESMO interview please click here:



*De Mattos-Arruda L, Mayor R, Ng CK, Weigelt B, Martínez-Ricarte F, Torrejon D, Oliveira M, Arias A, Raventos C, Tang J, Guerini-Rocco E, Martínez-Sáez E, Lois S, Marín O, de la Cruz X, Piscuoglio S, Towers R, Vivancos A, Peg V, Ramon y Cajal S, Carles J, Rodon J, González-Cao M, Tabernero J, Felip E, Sahuquillo J, Berger MF, Cortes J, Reis-Filho JS, Seoane J. Cerebrospinal fluid-derived circulating tumour DNA better represents the genomic alterations of brain tumours than plasma. Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 10;6:8839.

**Francisco Martínez-Ricarte, Regina Mayor, Elena Martínez-Sáez, Carlota Rubio Pérez, Estela Pineda, Esteban Cordero, Marta Cicuéndez, Maria A Poca, Nuria Lopez-Bigas, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, María Vieito, Joan Carles, Josep Tabernero, Ana Vivancos, Soledad Gallego, Francesc Graus, Juan Sahuquillo and Joan Seoane. Molecular diagnosis of diffuse gliomas through sequencing of cell-free circulating tumour DNA from cerebrospinal fluid. Clin Cancer Res. Published OnlineFirst April 3, 2018. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3800.