Liquid biopsy is a new medical diagnostic test growing in popularity. This non-invasive procedure involves extracting genetic material from blood or other body fluid samples.
The extracted DNA can then detect and diagnose various diseases, including cancer.
The following article will discuss liquid biopsy uses and how they can benefit you or your loved ones.
What is Liquid Biopsy?
Liquid biopsy is a test that uses a sample of blood, urine, or other body fluid to look for cancer cells. The test can find cancer cells in the early stages of the disease when they are easier to treat.
How Does the Test Work?
The test works by looking for pieces of DNA released from cancer cells into the bloodstream. The DNA is then analyzed to look for changes linked to cancer.
DNA is the blueprint of life. It is found in all cells in the body and contains the instructions for making proteins. Cancer cells release more DNA than normal cells. It is because they tend to grow faster than normal cells.
When you do a biopsy, a doctor takes a piece of tissue from a tumor to look at under a microscope. The doctor can get a sample of the tumor’s DNA without surgery with a biopsy.
What are the Uses?
Liquid biopsy is used in many ways:
1) To Diagnose Cancer
In 2021, 1,898,160 new cancer cases and 608,570 cancer deaths occurred in the United States. It shows that cancer is a significant health problem. However, early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the chances of survival.
Liquid biopsy offers a non-invasive method to detect cancer at an early stage. It uses a simple blood test to detect cancer cells in the body. It makes it a potential screening tool for people at high risk of developing cancer, such as those with a history of the disease.
It can also be used to monitor the response to treatment. If a patient’s tumor shrinks after treatment, the treatment is likely to work. Liquid biopsy can test this by looking for changes in the tumor’s DNA.
2) To Find Out The Type Of Cancer
Different types of cancer have different DNA changes. The biopsy can test for these changes and help doctors determine the type of cancer. It can also help doctors to choose the best treatment for a patient.
Some treatments work better for certain types of cancer than others. For instance, a patient with lung cancer may be given a different treatment than a patient with breast cancer.
The test can help doctors determine if cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized).
3) To Help Determine The Prognosis
The test can be used to help doctors predict a patient’s prognosis. The test looks at how active the cancer is and how likely it will respond to treatment.
This information can help doctors decide if a patient needs more aggressive treatment or be monitored with less intense treatment. It helps avoid giving unnecessary and harmful treatments to patients who don’t require them.
Liquid biopsy is a powerful and growing tool in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Next-generation sequencing techniques make it possible to detect and characterize tumor DNA circulating in the blood or other body fluids. This information can provide valuable insights into the nature of the tumor, helping to guide treatment decisions.