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Review

Liquid Biopsies: Applications for Cancer Diagnosis and Monitoring

1
Cytogenetics and Genomics Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine University of Coimbra, Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Coimbra, 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Center of Investigation on Environment Genetics and Oncobiology (CIMAGO), Faculty of Medicine University of Coimbra, Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR), University of Coimbra, 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
3
Center for Innovative Biomedicine and Biotechnology (CIBB), University of Coimbra, 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
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Clinical Academic Center of Coimbra (CACC), 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
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Laboratory of Oncobiology and Haematology and University Clinic of Haematology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
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Clinical Haematology Department, Coimbra University Hospital Centre (CHUC), 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sulev Koks
Genes 2021, 12(3), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12030349
Received: 2 February 2021 / Revised: 22 February 2021 / Accepted: 24 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Genomic Technology in Disease Outcome Prediction)
The minimally—or non-invasive detection of circulating tumor-derived components in biofluids, such as blood, liquid biopsy is a revolutionary approach with significant potential for the management of cancer. Genomic and transcriptomic alterations can be accurately detected through liquid biopsies, which provide a more comprehensive characterization of the heterogeneous tumor profile than tissue biopsies alone. Liquid biopsies could assist diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment selection, and hold great potential to complement current surveilling strategies to monitor disease evolution and treatment response in real-time. In particular, these are able to detect minimal residual disease, to predict progression, and to identify mechanisms of resistance, allowing to re-orient treatment strategies in a timelier manner. In this review we gathered current knowledge regarding the role and potential of liquid biopsies for the diagnosis and follow-up of cancer patients. The presented findings emphasize the strengths of liquid biopsies, revealing their chance of improving the diagnosis and monitoring of several tumor types in the near future. However, despite growing evidence supporting their value as a management tool in oncology, some limitations still need to be overcome for their implementation in the routine clinical setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; liquid biopsies; diagnosis; prognosis; monitoring; cell-free DNA; circulating tumor cells; precision medicine cancer; liquid biopsies; diagnosis; prognosis; monitoring; cell-free DNA; circulating tumor cells; precision medicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, I.; Ribeiro, I.P.; Jorge, J.; Gonçalves, A.C.; Sarmento-Ribeiro, A.B.; Melo, J.B.; Carreira, I.M. Liquid Biopsies: Applications for Cancer Diagnosis and Monitoring. Genes 2021, 12, 349. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12030349

AMA Style

Martins I, Ribeiro IP, Jorge J, Gonçalves AC, Sarmento-Ribeiro AB, Melo JB, Carreira IM. Liquid Biopsies: Applications for Cancer Diagnosis and Monitoring. Genes. 2021; 12(3):349. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12030349

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martins, Ivana; Ribeiro, Ilda P.; Jorge, Joana; Gonçalves, Ana C.; Sarmento-Ribeiro, Ana B.; Melo, Joana B.; Carreira, Isabel M. 2021. "Liquid Biopsies: Applications for Cancer Diagnosis and Monitoring" Genes 12, no. 3: 349. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12030349

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