Purpose: Absence of post-operative circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) identifies resected colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with low recurrence risk for adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) de-escalation. We present the largest resected CRC cohort to date with tissue-free minimal residual disease (MRD) detection. Design: TRACC included stage I-III resectable CRC patients. Prospective longitudinal plasma collection for ctDNA occurred pre- and post-surgery, post-ACT, every 3m for year 1 and every 6m in years 2 and 3 with imaging annually. The Guardant Reveal assay evaluated genomic and methylation signals. The primary endpoint was 2yr recurrence free survival (RFS) by post-operative ctDNA detection. (NCT04050345) Results: Between December 2016 and August 2022, 1203 were patients enrolled. Plasma samples (n=997) from 214 patients were analysed. 143 patients were evaluable for the primary endpoint; 92 (64.3%) colon, 51 (35.7%) rectal; 2 (1.4%) stage I, 64 (44.8%) stage II, 77 (53.8%) stage III. Median follow-up was 30.3m (95% CI: 29.5-31.3). 2yr RFS was 91.1% in patients with ctDNA not detected post-operatively and 50.4% in those with ctDNA detected (HR 6.5 [2.96-14.5] p<0.0001). Landmark negative predictive value (NPV) was 91.2% (95% CI 83.9-95.9). Longitudinal sensitivity and specificity were 62.1% (95% CI 42.2-79.3) and 85.9% (95% CI 78.9-91.3) respectively. Median lead-time from ctDNA detection to radiological recurrence was 7.3m (IQR 3.3-12.5; n=9). Conclusions: Tissue-free MRD detection with longitudinal sampling predicts recurrence in stage I-III CRC without need for tissue sequencing. NPV is high supporting ACT de-escalation in patients with ctDNA not detected post-operatively, now being investigated in the UK TRACC Part C study.

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