Nothing compares to liquid biopsy
There are many different methods in cancer diagnostics, but none of them can match an extraordinary way to catch tumors which is “liquid biopsy”. This invention has caused a huge kerfuffle among specialists. Why? How could anyone not be astonished having learned that sparing 16 ml of our blood, we can get the information about our whole body, including the presence of tumors that might have attacked us. How is it that they, professionals, are able to do it today, but they couldn’t do it yesterday?
Well, the answer to that question lies in the technology development that has taken place in the last couple of years. Scientists have found a way to distinguish among CTCs (cancer tumor cells), cfDNA (circulating-free DNA), and ctDNA (circulating tumor DNA). By not that long ago, Scientists had known they existed, but they had not known how to differentiate them. Circulating-free DNA is that which circulates in the bloodstream, but exactly the same is with circulating-tumor DNA – it also circulates in the bloodstream.
Characteristic feature of tumors
Due to the non-homogeneity of most tumors, which are analyzed to receive a better view of the tumor, getting samples taken from blood can serve in this sense. The easy-accessivenes of liquid biopsy makes it very decent in monitoring the disease. It can be conducted much more efficiently, and without unnecessary worries that something may go wrong – with this sort of examination everything is “buttoned up”.
ctDNA once again
Each cell in the human body, no matter whether it is a healthy cell or tumor cell, shed DNA which is also called cell-free DNA into the system that is called with a nice adjective “circulatory”. We talk about cancer when the level of this circulating-free DNA is higher than is observed in healthy people.