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Signatera blood test for detecting molecular residual disease

I’ve just finished my chemo (year), surgery and radiation and even though I had a PCR after the neoadjuvant TCHP, I’m super anxious about this recurring given that my tumor was HER2+/Hormone negative with a Ki67 of 90%. (Anything over 20% is classified as “high” so knowing mine is 90% seems like extremely bad news. My MO offered that I could have the tumor analyzed for DNA then I’d get my blood drawn and analyzed for residual tumor DNA strands that could be detected. Has anyone had this done? It’s a scary proposition since there’s a part of me that would just like to move on and “forget about it”, if that’s possible. The thought of hearing there was cancer still present and the thought of starting on yet another round of chemo is depressing. I haven’t felt normal during treatment and would love to get back to being who I was pre-cancer.


  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206
    edited August 2022

    Hi bakerb.

    I had neoadjuvent chemo (AC-T) for TNBC. I did not get a PCR, but the chemo was effective in killing off 99% of the cancer cells in the tumor bed in the breast (although, one of my sentinel lymph nodes was positive for cancer). After chemo, lumpectomy, and radiation, I got a second opinion from a TNBC oncologist and she recommended that I try Signatera. My blood was drawn and my tumor sample was provided to Signatera. I was told a few months later that the tumor sample did not have enough cancer cells to perform the test. If you got a PCR, I would make sure that they can perform the test before you pay out of pocket

  • bakerb
    bakerb Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2022

    Thamks for sharing your experience, and you make a good point about the PCR specimen not being a viable option. I’massuming they would have to use the biopsy specimen (core needle biopsy) if there is enough tissue to sample.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 320
    edited August 2022

    My MO has ordered Signatera testing for me. I provided post chemo blood samples a few weeks ago. I didn’t have neoadjuvant chemo, so I’ll have plenty of cancer cells from my tumor for certain.

    I just received my denial for insurance authorization for the test. According to my MO my out of pocket cost should be affordable as the company wants to be able to show benefit of the test over time. According to the studies I read, this technology does provide early detection with extremely low false positive results. That, and the fact it only requires a blood draw and no other risk such as radiation exposure is appealing to me.

    I’ll post anything else I learn here.