Biopsies have been the best tool in the hands of the clinicians for the appropriate management of malignancies including diagnosis, prognosis and reassessment. They are and have been the gold standard in their diagnosis. Due to certain unavoidable limitations of needle biopsy, there is emergence of a new biomarker in oncology called LIQUID BIOPSY: Analysis of circulating tumour cells (CTC) and circulating free tumor DNA (ctDNA) from the peripheral blood. As this technology evolves it may prove to be a critical component of personalized medicine in this modern era of diagnostics. Liquid biopsy has a great potential in cancer diagnosis, monitoring and predicting survival. Nevertheless false positive results exist. The major challenge with this technology is assay sensitivity and specificity. This mini-review tries to fill the gap between reality and our hope of this “liquid biopsy”.
Keywords: Biopsy, Circulating tumor cells, cfDNA