29 August, 2019
Liquid biopsy, diagnosis of non-invasive cancer, personalised treatment and follow-up
Liquid biopsy or fluid biopsy is a new cancer diagnosis and follow-up test. It consists of a blood test that can either confirm or rule out the presence of tumour cells in the blood and, if present, analyse their DNA to personalise or adapt the treatment.
NON-INVASIVE CANCER DIAGNOSIS
Until recently, to diagnose cancer or to monitor its progression, it was necessary to take and analyse a sample of tumour tissue (tissue biopsy). For the extraction, a puncture or surgery was required, with all the possible complications and discomfort that this could entail for the patient. A liquid biopsy provides the same information and also allows us to monitor the progression of the disease with a simple blood test.
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LIQUID BIOPSY: WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE?
Liquid biopsy is a non-invasive cancer diagnostic test that only requires one or several blood samples. A laboratory analysis, which will look for tumour cells, will confirm or rule out cancer, allowing it to be diagnosed at an early stage. The use of this test prevents unnecessary discomfort for the patient and saves time and resources. The results are obtained in a few days and, as it is a simple blood test, it can be repeated as many times as the oncologist considers necessary. In patients who already have cancer, it is also possible to monitor disease progression and plan and personalise their treatment.
“PERSONALISED TREATMENT, MONITORING AND TREATMENT VALIDATION”
In the words of Dr Aleix Prat, a medical oncology specialist at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and barnaclínic+, liquid biopsy is a “new diagnostic test that allows us to detect tumour mutations in the blood and thus determine the best treatment for the patient. At the same time, we are able to monitor whether these treatments are working or not.”
“Liquid biopsy allows us to detect tumour mutations in the blood and determine the best treatment for the patient”
Dr Aleix Prat
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ADVANTAGES OF LIQUID BIOPSY
It is a non-invasive cancer diagnostic test
It allows tumours to be detected early
It allows tumour DNA to be identified
It can be repeated as many times as you wish
The results can be obtained quickly
It facilitates the validation of ongoing treatment
It facilitates personalised treatment
It allows patients to be monitored to prevent relapses