The Translational Status of Cancer Liquid Biopsies
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021
Precision oncology aims to tailor clinical decisions specifically to patients with the objective of improving treatment outcomes. This can be achieved by leveraging omics information for accurate molecular characterization of tumors. Tumor tissue biopsies are currently the main source of information for molecular profiling. However, biopsies are invasive and limited in resolving spatiotemporal heterogeneity in tumor tissues. Alternative non-invasive liquid biopsies can exploit patient’s body fluids to access multiple layers of tumor-specific biological information (genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes, circulating tumor cells, and exosomes). Analysis and integration of these large and diverse datasets using statistical and machine learning approaches can yield important insights into tumor biology and lead to discovery of new diagnostic, predictive, and prognostic biomarkers. Translation of these new diagnostic tools into standard clinical practice could transform oncology, as demonstrated by a number of liquid biopsy assays already entering clinical use. In this review, we highlight successes and challenges facing the rapidly evolving field of cancer biomarker research. Lay Summary: Precision oncology aims to tailor clinical decisions specifically to patients with the objective of improving treatment outcomes. The discovery of biomarkers for precision oncology has been accelerated by high-throughput experimental and computational methods, which can inform fine-grained characterization of tumors for clinical decision-making. Moreover, advances in the liquid biopsy field allow non-invasive sampling of patient’s body fluids with the aim of analyzing circulating biomarkers, obviating the need for invasive tumor tissue biopsies. In this review, we highlight successes and challenges facing the rapidly evolving field of liquid biopsy cancer biomarker research.