Generally speaking, various forms of cancer are often detected way too late.  Over the past several years, the liquid biopsy field has come a long way. About ten years ago, the liquid biopsy was an unproven technology. Today, we see liquid biopsy as part of the standard of care in tissue genotyping for patients with advanced cancer. Liquid biopsy screening tests can find types of cancer breast, colon, cervical, advanced prostate, and lung. A key component to fighting cancer is early cancer detection. Blood-based liquid biopsy technology provides a quick and noninvasive way to analyze tumors using biomarkers circulating in the blood.  

Although the detection is relatively novel, the accuracy of detecting certain forms of cancer has gained FDA approval. Over the last ten years, liquid biopsy tests have emerged to provide a quick and noninvasive way to analyze tumors using biomarkers circulating in the blood. Recently, liquid biopsies have been refined with next-generation sequencing to target many cancer-related genes in advanced cancer. These tests have increased their range of clinical applications in cancer treatment.

Cavollo (October 10, 2021) reports that the accuracy of new liquid biopsy tests on the market, with FDA approval, shows that liquid biopsy test is accurate. Liquid biopsy is very safe, and it can calculate a patient’s tumor burden throughout the body. Regulatory approvals for blood-based tests, the first liquid biopsy test was in 2013. The CellSearch® CTC enumeration platform, to monitor patients with advanced metastatic breast, colon, and prostate cancers based on the cancers’ level of circulating tumor cells. “The FDA approved the first circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) blood-based genetic test to detect epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”

A few of the latest liquid biopsies  over the last five years that have gained much traction are by the company Exact Science and GRAIL. The company Exact Sciences (2022) reports that   their “multi-cancer early detection (MCED) is a new kind of blood test that can find cancer at its earliest stages when it’s most treatable.” Exact Sciences (2022) “We’re designing our MCED test to fit into routine medical care, alongside current standard cancer screening tools.”  

The company GRAIL has the liquid biopsy measuring an earlier version of Galleri (MCED-E) and a refined version of Galleri (MCED-Scr). GRAIL (September 11, 2022) reports that” their overall, 26 cancers were detected by the blood tests”. In comparison, “an additional 24 cancers were detected by standard screening such as mammography or colonoscopy. Screen-detected cancers (those seen by either blood testing or routine screening) accounted for more than half of the 96 cancers detected during the study period.” Diagnostic PET-CT most often causes localized cancers detected by the blood test. Twelve of the cancers detected by the blood test could be surgically removed.

Ask your physician about liquid biopsies! Suppose you have several people in your family that have had cancer. In that case, it may benefit you to discover your risks and catch them early before it develops into cancer. The Narrative Matters!

References:

Cavollo, J. (October 10, 2021). The Evolution of Liquid Biopsy in Cancer Care. The Evolution of Liquid Biopsy in Cancer Care – The ASCO Post

Exact Sciences (2022). Multi-Cancer Early Detection | Exact Sciences

GRAIL. (September 11, 2022). GRAIL Announces Final Results From the PATHFINDER Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Study at ESMO Congress 2022. GRAIL Announces Final Results From the PATHFINDER Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Study at ESMO Congress 2022 – GRAIL


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