Liquid Biopsy to Characterize Cell-Free DNA in Cancer Detection and Monitoring
Liquid biopsy, a concept introduced approximately a decade ago, refers to noninvasive approaches that have become the focus of biomedical research. In clinical oncology and research, the term liquid biopsy is used in a broad sense as the sampling and analysis of analytes including cell-free DNA from various accessible biological fluids for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of a therapeutic response. This technology has the potential to be used in tracking the genomic evolution of tumors over time. It may also have therapeutic implications in terms of its ability to detect actionable events or resistant subclonal populations while avoiding the need to conduct repeated biopsies. This paper briefly reviews the major advances in liquid biopsy assay technologies and discusses the types of cancers that most likely benefit from early detection.