Liquid Biopsy Could be Effective Alternative to Conventional Biopsies

Liquid BiopsyA study that included genetic information of more than 15,000 patients and 50 tumor types has unveiled that the liquid biopsies are a better option than conventional biopsies.

In the study, the researchers have compared tumor samples from liquid biopsies and of traditional biopsies. The researchers said that liquid biopsies provided absolutely correct genomic information of the tumor.

Guardant360 was the liquid biopsy test being used in the study that looked for around 70 mutations. Liquid biopsies are getting quite popular these days. Many companies have been developing them that detect small pieces of DNA being left cancerous tumors in the bloodstream. The derived information can be used to treat and monitor the disease.

To extract information about the tumor’s genetic mutations, doctors generally use surgical biopsies, and accordingly, it is decided whether cancer can be treated with available drugs. Conventional biopsies can prove costly and painful.

Another thing is patients are not always healthy enough to undergo biopsies, and there are times when there are not enough tissues extracted to allow pathologists to carry out a high-level analysis. On the other hand, Philip Mack, director of molecular pharmacology at the University of California at Davis’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, was of the view that a liquid biopsy can turn out to be quite informative and minimally invasive.

The researchers said that the test results were compared with conventional biopsies in two ways. First one was, in 398 patients, DNA circulating in the bloodstream was compared with tissue samples earlier removed from patients.

The second way was researchers had compared blood test results to those for tissue biopsies in data from large databases. Liquid ‘biopsy’s another benefit is that it can be carried out at a lower rate with less effort.

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