Pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains one of the most aggressive cancers with an ongoing dismal survival rate despite some recent advances in treatment options. This is largely due to the typically late presentation and limited effective therapeutic options in advanced disease. There are numerous circulating biomarkers that have potential clinical application as tumour markers, including circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), circulating tumour cells (CTCs), cell-free RNA (cfRNA), exosomes and circulating tumour proteins. This review will focus on the development of ctDNA as a non-invasive liquid biopsy, with its high sensitivity and specificity having potential clinical applications in pancreatic cancer. These include a role in screening, prognostication via the detection of minimal residual disease, early detection of recurrence, and for patients with advanced disease; tumour genotyping and monitoring treatment response. Prospective randomised adjuvant clinical trials are currently underway, exploring the impact of ctDNA-guided adjuvant therapy decisions. In this review, we provide perspectives on the current literature and considerations of future directions.
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