Cancer is a heterogeneous disease. Even if it originates from a single clone, over time, cells begin to develop different mutations (errors) from each other. Mutations in cancer can be detected by biopsy made from tissue. However, since cancer is a dynamic process, this instant mutation information is insufficient to provide the information needed by the patient or doctor. Liquid biopsy technique has been developed to detect mutations that develop in this dynamic process of cancer. Liquid biopsy is a method that analyzes cancer cells or fragments of DNA, RNA or protein (exosomes) resulting from the breakdown of cancer cells. It is used to detect mutations that occur in the tumor.
Why Liquid Biopsy Is Performed?
- For the early detection of the presence of tumors or for the detection of the origin of tumors whose tissue of origin (primary) is unknown
- In the follow-up of individuals diagnosed with cancer and in determining their prognosis
- In choosing the appropriate drugs for treatment
- In the detection of drug resistance after treatment
- In the detection of recurrence (recurrence)
- In the detection of new mutations
What are the Advantages of Liquid Biopsy?
- It does not require any surgical procedure.
- It can be used in patients who are not able to perform tissue biopsy (sampling).
- Can evaluate tumor heterogeneity and dynamic process of tumor.
What are the Limitations of Liquid Biopsy?
- Complete standardization has not yet been achieved all over the world for laboratory and clinical protocols.
- The sensitivity and specificity of the tests may vary.
- It is still used in some types of cancer, especially breast cancer.
- Does not include histological evaluation.
In Which Cancer Types Is Liquid Biopsy Widely Used?
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Leukemia and lymphomas