The term liquid biopsy refers to the use of blood and other bodily fluids as a surrogate of tissue samples for diagnostic purposes. The rationale for using liquid biopsies instead of actual tissue samples is to avoid unnecessary invasive procedures to the patients while providing the same diagnostic information. Diagnostic tests may potentially apply to any bodily fluid after proper extraction of cells, cell vesicles or nucleic acids. One of the main fields of application for liquid biopsies is oncology, for the diagnosis of disease or for the identification of prognostic or predictive biomarkers. Theoretically, any laboratory test that is performed in tissue or cytological samples can be also accomplished in liquids.
Several limitations apply to the use of liquid biopsies in the clinical practice… (read more)