Liquid Biopsy

When a person gets first inkling that he might be suffering from cancer, the first fear that crops up in mind is that of biopsy. Many patients refuse to revisit the hospital or undergo further course for the fear of biopsy. For such patients a new modality is being introduced which is still in its infancy; it is the option of liquid biopsy.

Our doctor may also recommend liquid biopsy in patients where the tumor is inaccessible, unknown or recurrent.

A liquid biopsy is an easy OPD procedure but the cost of processing is considerably high.. However, the ability to diagnose the stage of the mutation and track the cancer progression, including possible tumor shrinkage or the treatment response is greatly increased.

Liquid biopsies are not limited to the blood, though this is greatly where the research is focused. Urine, saliva or cervical fluid may also be used, as genetic information is also present in these fluids. These biopsies are concentrate on finding the circulating tumor cells (CTC), cell-free circulating DNA (cfDNA), exosomes, extracellular vesicles (EVs) and micro RNA (miRNA), which are more or less present in the blood of those afflicted by cancer.
CTC is emitted in the blood via tumor shedding. Circulating tumor DNA fragments are shorter in those with cancer and a greater number indicates malignancy. The challenge here is distinguishing the cell-free circulating DNA from the circulating tumor DNA and mutations.