Advancement in the medical industry allows the diagnosis of lung cancer at the earliest possible moment. Oncologists are using the latest biomedical advancements in lung cancer diagnostics, showing remarkable results. This opens new doors for specific, custom-tailored treatments in primary and metastatic tumors based on genomic alterations.
A liquid biopsy is a process that includes a blood test that detects your cancer cells or fragments of DNA from cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream. In particular, researchers are excited about its potential to aid in diagnosing and treating lung cancer.
Circulating DNA in the bloodstream is a non-invasive and real-time biomarker for cancer that can be used for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment selection, and tumor burden monitoring.
When tumors grow in size, the capacity of phagocytes to eliminate and clear apoptotic and necrotic fragments can be exceeded, leading to the passive release of DNA into the bloodstream. Physicians can analyze DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream using blood drawn from a patient’s arm.
Biopsy and Lung Cancer:
A clinical diagnosis historically required solid biopsy samples in order to determine tumor histology and staging. The advantage of diagnosing using liquid biopsy over a traditional biopsy is that it is non-invasive, can be easily obtained, reflects the state of the tumor as a whole, and allows for real-time monitoring of cancer.
More widespread use of a simple and inexpensive blood test would make screening for lung cancer more widely accessible for both longtime smokers and individuals who are not eligible for other types of testing. The number of people who have never smoked but are diagnosed with lung cancer is increasing.
Types of Identification:
The DNA of tumor cells can be detected in the bloodstream, urine, and pleural fluid. It has been shown that cancer patients mostly have higher levels of cfDNA than healthy individuals. Since the tumor volume is proportional to cell turnover and death, ctDNA concentration increases with size of the tumor. Performing genetic alteration by circulating cell-free DNA can be treated to better results.
Circulation of Tumor Cells:
The detection of cancer specific antigens in the bloodstream could provide an attractive diagnostic tool since it is possible to perform a morphologic evaluation and has an opportunity for molecular characterization since it is possible to derive the information of DNA, RNA, and protein.
Doctors are increasingly using liquid biopsy in addition to traditional tissue biopsies to provide additional information about lung tumors. The blood test can sometimes be used in place of a tissue biopsy but is typically recommended as part of a combination approach.
- The biopsy is a much more convenient procedure for patients than surgery, which always carries some risk of complications.
- While liquid biopsies are currently used to help choose targeted therapies for people already diagnosed with lung cancer, there has been proven evidence to indicate that this method may be feasible as an early detection tool.
Medical researchers are getting closer to personalized precision treatment for lung cancer, which will lead to better outcomes for patients. Lung cancer is proven to be one of the most common forms of cancer globally, so it’s likely that medical professionals have seen this sort of treatment in action and can guide you towards the best possible care.
Talk to a lung cancer specialist today to learn more about these exciting new developments and how they might affect your health.