Breast Cancer

A liquid biopsy from Biocept gives you a new tool for profiling breast cancer—with a simple blood test.

You Need a Complete Answer to Provide the Best Treatment for Breast Cancer

Choosing the most effective treatment for women with recurrent or newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer depends on ER, PR and HER2 receptor status. These key targets help doctors understand which therapies have the best chance of success, and can also be used to help breast cancer patients qualify for clinical trials.

Published guidelines from ASCO and CAP establish new standards for determining biomarker status. These guidelines call for repeat biopsies in late-stage patients, as well as using excision biopsies to retest initial negative results. This helps ensure that patients don’t miss out on potentially effective targeted therapies.

Risks of Biopsy in Breast Cancer

For many breast cancer patients, a metastatic biopsy may be difficult or impossible to obtain due to the location of the recurrent lesion—for example, bone, lung, brain or other hard to biopsy sites. Furthermore, the poor performance status of some patients makes a repeat biopsy risky.

Biocept’s innovative technology allows clinicians to evaluate key biomarkers such as ER, PR, HER2, FGFR1, AR, PD-L1 and others from a simple, non-invasive blood sample.

Monitoring Cancer as it Changes

Recent literature suggests that biomarker status can change between primary and metastatic disease. These findings suggest that the discordance of markers like ER, PR and HER2 can be over 10% when comparing the primary tumor to metastatic tumors.1

Discordance of biomarkers between primary and metastatic biopsies can be attributed to:

  • Testing methods and standards used during the primary diagnosis, compared to methods and standards used during the metastatic diagnosis.
  • Heterogeneity between the primary diagnostic sample and the metastatic diagnostic sample.
  • Biological convergence of receptor status between the primary diagnostic sample and the metastatic diagnostic sample.

Biocept and Liquid Biopsies—Completing the Answer™

Whether you’re unable to safely obtain a repeat biopsy sample, or you need to monitor metastatic cancer for changes in biomarker status, a liquid biopsy from Biocept can help complete the answer.

Biocept has developed advanced methods for finding circulating cancer cells (CTCs) and oncogene mutation fragments (ctDNA) in the blood. This allows our CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory to perform predictive biomarker testing and provide the most up-to-date biomarker status from a non-invasive patient blood sample.

Validation studies have demonstrated that our technology has a high correlation between the biomarker status found in blood samples and traditional tissue biopsy. Studies site the discordance in receptor status from primary to metastatic disease.2 Biocept can test for predictive biomarkers to identify patients who may benefit from therapy changes or re-biopsy to improve outcomes.3

How Does it Work?

A liquid biopsy from Biocept is a fast, easy way to establish biomarker status.

Step 1: Order a Biocept blood test. Your patient can get their blood drawn the same day, at any lab. Please contact customer service for Biocept Collection Kit supplies.

Step 2: The sample is sent via Fed-Ex to the Biocept lab. Our CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited lab isolates cancer cells and DNA fragments and uses analytically and clinically validated reagents to look for standard, clinically relevant biomarkers.

Step 3: Biocept will provide your physician the results within 3-5 days for CTC detection, and may require 2-5 days more for additional biomarker testing when the sample is received into our laboratory. In most instances this is faster than results performed on tissue, with the benefit of not having a surgical procedure.

Who pays for a liquid biopsy? Biocept accepts all insurance and will bill on behalf of the patient. In addition, Biocept has a Financial Assistance Program (see Billing Policy), with payment plans available based on the patient’s financial situation. We are committed to excellence and are here to assist with any questions or concerns you may have. Please call 888.332.7729 M-F from 8-5 Pacific Time to discuss individual claims and policies.


  1. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Nov 1;31(31):3997-4013. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2013.50.9984. Epub 2013 Oct 7.
  2. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2011 August 2; 155(3):137-144. doi:10.1059/0003-4819-155-3-20110820-00003
  3. Cancer Medicine, 2013; 2(2): 226-233 doi:10.1002/cam4.70