Pancreatic cancer is one of the main causes of cancer related deaths worldwide. It is asymptomatic at an early stage, and most diagnosis occurs when the disease is already at a late stage, by which time the tumor is nonresectable. In order to increase the overall survival of patients with pancreatic cancer, as well as to decrease the cancer burden, it is necessary to perform early diagnosis, prognosis stratifications and cancer monitoring using accurate, minimally invasive and cost-effective methods. Liquid biopsies seek to detect tumor-associated biomarkers in a variety of extractable body fluids and can help to monitor treatment response and disease progression, and even predict patient outcome. In patients with pancreatic cancer, tumor-derived materials, mainly circulating tumor DNA, circulating tumor cells and exosomes, are being studied for inclusion in the management algorithm of the disease. Researchers at the Imperial College London describe the biology of these biomarkers, methods for their enrichment and detection, as well as their potential for clinical applications. Moreover, they discuss the future direction of liquid biopsies and introduce how they can be exploited toward point of care personalized medicine for the management of pancreatic cancer.
Liquid biopsies for management of pancreatic cancer
Samandari M, Juliá MG, Rice A, Chronopoulos A, Del Río Hernández AE. (2018) Liquid biopsies for management of pancreatic cancer. Transl Res [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]