About the lab
The Liquid Biopsy Core, led by Director Dr. Erica L. Carpenter, focuses on the identification, capture, and analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from cancer patients. Blood, bone marrow, pleural effusions, and other non-invasively captured patient samples are used to detect biomarkers which allow: 1) early detection of disease as well as post-therapy monitoring of minimal residual disease, 2) an efficient means of determining clinical and biological response to therapy and, thus, clinical decision making, and, 3) cancer genetic phenotyping to drive personalized medicine that obviates the need for serial biopsies in a population of patients for which these procedures are difficult, risky, and insufficient. The focus of the Liquid Biopsy Core is driven by the needs of clinicians and translational investigators, and realized through collaborative work with investigators in the Penn School of Medicine, the Penn School of Engineering, and the Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Moreover, when it is determined that outsourcing of technology development is preferable, collaborative efforts with industry partners are actively sought, and these efforts have already been initiated in focused areas.