Physical biopsies have been the gold standard for obtaining information about cancer. However, there are several challenges that limit the utility of tissue biopsy for use in cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment selection, including:
- Inaccessibility of the tissue of interest
- Requirement for specialized skills from qualified medical personnel
- Invasiveness of repeat biopsies over time
- Limited representation of intra- and inter-tumor heterogeneity
- Patient ineligibility for physical biopsy due to significant procedural risk, insufficient quality or quantity of tissue, etc.
But physical biopsy isn’t the only way to get information about cancer! Tumors shed cells, DNA, RNA, proteins, and other material into the bloodstream. And these analytes can be collected and explored for cancer biomarkers in a liquid biopsy.
illumina’s new Liquid Biopsy eBook contains everything you need to know to get started with using liquid biopsy to research cancer, including methods for CTC sequencing, ctDNA sequencing, ctDNA methylation profiling, and cfRNA sequencing.