New Publication Demonstrates Signatera’s Ability to Risk Stratify and Detect Recurrence Early in Resected Stage I-II Lung Cancer

Clinical management was altered in 100% of patients with a Signatera positive result

Natera, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA), a global leader in cell-free DNA testing, today announced a new study published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery demonstrating the ability of Natera’s personalized and tumor-informed molecular residual disease (MRD) test, Signatera, to risk stratify and detect recurrence early in patients with resected stage I-II non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The full study can be found here.

Worldwide, lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer. In the U.S., NSCLC accounts for 81% of all lung cancer diagnoses.1 About 25-30% of NSCLC patients are diagnosed with stage I-II disease.2,3 These patients typically undergo curative-intent complete surgical resection and may be treated with adjuvant systemic therapy. However, 30–55% of patients develop disease recurrence within the first five years after surgery, and five-year overall survival ranges from 68-92% for stage I and 53-60% for stage II NSCLC patients respectively.4,5,6

Given the significant risk of recurrence and death in NSCLC, it is critical to accurately risk-stratify patients to identify who may derive benefit from additional treatment after surgery. In addition, there is a need for sensitive and specific biomarkers to support early detection of recurrence before the onset of disease-related symptoms at a time when therapy might provide greater clinical benefit.

This study investigated the association of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) status with recurrence-free survival (RFS), as well as changes in clinical practice after a positive ctDNA result in patients with resected stage I-II NSCLC. A total of 378 serial plasma samples from 108 NSCLC patients were analyzed after surgical resection, with a median clinical followup of 16 months.

Key findings include:

  • Patients who were ctDNA-positive within 6 months post-resection and prior to adjuvant treatment were 53-times more likely to recur (p<0.0001) as compared to ctDNA-negative patients.
  • ctDNA detection demonstrated a median lead time of 5.5 months when compared to confirmation of recurrence by radiographic imaging.
  • Post-operative surveillance strategies were altered in 100% of ctDNA-positive patients (earlier radiographic imaging), and patients with PET scans positive for malignant features received early referrals for treatment.

“This study demonstrates that serial monitoring with Signatera can identify patients who are most likely to benefit from adjuvant systemic therapy and/or more intensified imaging,” said Minetta Liu, MD, chief medical officer of oncology at Natera. “With measurable clinical impact in 100% of Signatera MRD-positive cases, this study supports the utility of Signatera in the management of non-metastatic, resected NSCLC.”

The study builds on previous Signatera data across early- and late-stage NSCLC. This includes a 2023 publication in Frontiers in Oncology, demonstrating Signatera’s ability to risk stratify and detect progression early in unresectable NSCLC,7 as well as the EMPower Lung-1 trial presented at the 2023 ASCO annual meeting, which showed Signatera’s ability to monitor response to immunotherapy and predict clinical outcomes in advanced NSCLC patients.8 This recent work also builds upon the 2017 TRACERx Nature publication that first reported Signatera’s ability to detect relapse early with high sensitivity and specificity in patients with resected NSCLC.9

About Signatera

Signatera is a personalized, tumor-informed, molecular residual disease test for patients previously diagnosed with cancer. Custom-built for each individual, Signatera uses circulating tumor DNA to detect and quantify cancer left in the body, identify recurrence earlier than standard of care tools, and help optimize treatment decisions. The test is available for clinical and research use and is covered by Medicare for patients with colorectal cancer, breast cancer (stage IIb and higher) and muscle invasive bladder cancer, as well as for immunotherapy monitoring of any solid tumor. Signatera has been clinically validated across multiple cancer types and indications, with published evidence in more than 50 peer-reviewed papers.

About Natera

Natera™ is a global leader in cell-free DNA testing, dedicated to oncology, women’s health, and organ health. We aim to make personalized genetic testing and diagnostics part of the standard of care to protect health, and inform earlier, more targeted interventions that help lead to longer, healthier lives. Natera’s tests are validated by more than 180 peer-reviewed publications that demonstrate high accuracy. Natera operates ISO 13485-certified and CAP-accredited laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) in Austin, Texas and San Carlos, California. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements and are not a representation that Natera’s plans, estimates, or expectations will be achieved. These forward-looking statements represent Natera’s expectations as of the date of this press release, and Natera disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including with respect to whether the results of clinical or other studies will support the use of our product offerings, the impact of results of such studies, our expectations of the reliability, accuracy and performance of our tests, or of the benefits of our tests and product offerings to patients, providers and payers. Additional risks and uncertainties are discussed in greater detail in "Risk Factors" in Natera’s recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and in other filings Natera makes with the SEC from time to time. These documents are available at and


  1. Cancer.Net. Lung Cancer (Non-Small Cell) - Statistics. 2023.
  2. Cancer of the Lung and Bronchus (Invasive). In: Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. editors. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2014. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, 2017.
  3. Kocher F, Hilbe W, Seeber A, et al. Longitudinal analysis of 2293 NSCLC patients: A comprehensive study from the TYROL registry. Lung Cancer. 2015;87(2):193-200. doi:10.1016/j.lungcan.2014.12.006
  4. Uramoto H, Tanaka F. Recurrence after surgery in patients with NSCLC. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2014;3(4):242-249. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2013.12.05
  5. Lou F, Sima CS, Rusch VW, Jones DR, Huang J. Differences in patterns of recurrence in early-stage versus locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2014;98(5):1755-1761. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.05.070
  6. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2016 1139-51DOI: (10.1016/j.jtho.2015.09.009)
  7. Lebow et al. ctDNA-based detection of molecular residual disease in stage I-III non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with definitive radiotherapy. Front. Oncol. 2023,13:1253629.
  8. Vokes N, Gandara D, et al. Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) Dynamics and Survival Outcomes in Patients with Advanced NSCLC and High (>50%) PD-L1 Expression, Randomized to Cemiplimab vs Chemotherapy. Presented at ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, June 2023.
  9. Abbosh C, Birkbak NJ, Wilson GA, et al. Phylogenetic ctDNA analysis depicts early-stage lung cancer evolution. Nature. 2017;545(7655):446-451.



Investor Relations: Mike Brophy, CFO, Natera, Inc., 510-826-2350,

Media: Lesley Bogdanow, VP of Corporate Communications, Natera, Inc.,

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