As the medical field is making great advancements with regards to technology and treatments, the tests are narrowing down to more easier yet micro level. Cancer tests have also become more specific and advanced and the perfect example is Liquid Biopsy.
Liquid Biopsy is a new, non-invasive technique that detects disease biomarkers released by tumour in blood, urine or other bodily fluids. When cancer spreads,it sheds cells and DNA fragments in the blood. Datar Genetics Ltd. has developed this technique for finding cancer cells, RNA from exosomes and tumour DNA fragments in the blood. In this method, you get similar information from a simple blood test which you would have to otherwise get from a tissue sample obtained from the regular invasive biopsy. Conventional biopsies taken from tumor sites may suffer from biased results due to tumour heterogeneity whereas liquid biopsy is free from such biases.
Liquid Biopsy targets one of the following:-
- Free circulating nucleic acids.
- RNA expression and fusion transcripts.
- Circulating tumour cells.
- Multiple DNA abnormalities
- Tumour Emboli
- Insertions and deletions
- Trans-locations and chromosomal abnormalities
- Point mutations
You should consider Liquid Biopsy when:-
- Enough tissue cannot be obtained from the initial invasive biopsy.
- Cancer starts in a place that is difficult to access by surgical biopsy.
- Cancer spreads to brain, bone,lung or other difficult to biopsy locations.
- Recurrence of cancer post initial tumour removal.
- Patient isn’t responding to treatment the way you expect.
- The patient doesn’t want a repeat biopsy.
In Cancertrack – Liquid Biopsy by Datar Genetics Limited, capturing and detecting CTCs, exosomes, ctDNA and other bio-markers has an important predictive and therapeutic implication. Detection of tumor DNA has clinical utility in risk stratification in early cancer, in early detection of relapse and in monitoring the response to treatment.
This test has two types- A prognostic test may indicate the outcome and course of a disease. A predictive test suggests likely response to the particular therapy. It is also devised to screen for cancer. It will inform you about your current status of cancer and is intended to provide clinicians information on the presence of specific biomarkers in the CTCs.
The major advantage being cancer treatments getting more personalised and micro-level, Liquid Biopsy proves very helpful and indeed a boon for us.