Although population-wide screening programs for several cancer types have been implemented in multiple countries, screening procedures are invasive, time-consuming and often perceived as a burden for patients. Molecular biomarkers measurable in non-invasively collected samples (liquid biopsies) could facilitate screening, as they could have incremental value on early diagnosis of cancer, but could also predict prognosis or monitor treatment response. Although the shift towards biomarkers from liquid biopsies for early cancer detection was initiated some time ago, there are many challenges that hamper the development of such biomarkers. One of these challenges is large-scale validation that requires large prospectively collected biobanks with liquid biopsies. Establishing those biobanks involves several considerations, such as standardization of sample collection, processing and storage within and between biobanks. In this perspective, we will elaborate on several issues that need to be contemplated in biobanking, both in general and for certain specimen types specifically, to be able to facilitate biomarker validation for early detection of cancer.
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