Liquid Biopsy – an Option for Cancer Patients
We have all heard of a Tissue Biopsy but what exactly is a Liquid Biopsy?
When cancer is spreading or metastasizing, it sheds tumour cells and cancer-causing DNA fragments into the bloodstream. Biocept has developed a technology by which these tumour cells and cancer-causing DNA can be detected from a blood sample.
The Biocept Liquid Biopsy is a simple non-invasive blood test that is intended to provide clinicians information on the presence of CTCs, ctDNA and specific biomarkers in the CTCs. These results assist physicians in understanding the status of the disease and making decisions on current and future therapy.
This is a valid option for patients with indicated caner types to learn more about their personal circumstance.
Patients are easily able to monitor their circulating tumour cells – these are cancer cells that detach from a primary tumour and travel through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body (when the cancer begins to spread or metastasize).
The liquid biopsy can check for genetic or molecular abnormalities – this will provide the patient with further information about candidacy for molecular targeted therapies, also known as immunotherapy.
The patient and the physician are able to closely monitor the progression, regression or stability of the current disease state.
How does works?
A blood test is ordered by your physician. The sample is then sent to the Biocept Laboratory. The ordering physician will receive the results in 7-10 days.
When should you consider a Liquid Biopsy?
- When your cancer begins in a place that is difficult to access via a surgical biopsy
- Your primary cancer has spread to brain, bone and lungs (or other difficult-to-biopsy locations)
- Not enough tissue was obtained from the tissue biopsy and you don’t want a repeat tissue biopsy
- You are no longer responding to your current treatment protocol
- You would like to check your cancer for genetic and molecular abnormalities
- You would like to see if you are a candidate for immunotherapy
- You want to monitor your cancer more closely
To find out information about the Liquid Biopsy, schedule an appointment with your Cancer Care Physician at Integrated Health Clinic to see if you are a good candidate.
By. Dr. Ritu Jhaj, ND