Liquid biopsy and cfDNA

Liquid biopsies are the non-invasive alternative for the commonly used tissue biopsy.[1] Different sources of tumor material have been investigated in the past several years. These sources include blood, saliva and urine. The goal of these investigations was to provide biopsy surrogates for rapid, accurate detection of genomic alterations through noninvasive procedures.

When analyzing tumor tissue the biggest advantage is that, compared to liquid biopsy, the tumor tissue will provide a more thorough analysis.[2] The biggest advantage of liquid biopsies are that it is a non-invasive method. This means that the patient will experience minimal discomfort or pain when a liquid biopsy is taken.

Other advantages include that liquid biopsies are less expensive, it is possible to take serial samples to assess the progression of the tumor and possible resistance for drugs and it provides a current and accurate picture of the genomic landscape of the tumor.

The discovery of circulating free DNA (cfDNA) in 1948 was the first step towards ‘liquid biopsy’.[3] Tumor cells release cfDNA into the blood over time or when they break down. Because of the fact that the majority of the cfDNA in blood is not of cancerous origin, new technological advances had to be made to investigate tumor specific cfDNA. Today, these technological advancements allow for the identification of genetic and epigenetic deviations in cfDNA in, for example, blood. In a liquid biopsy the cfDNA can also provide information on the genetic landscape of tumors as well as information about genomic evolution of these tumors.

Norgen Biotek developed a tube to collect liquid biopsies and preserve the cfDNA for up to 30 days at ambient temperature. Not only cfDNA will be preserved; cfRNA can be preserved for 30 days and Circulating Tumor Cells can be preserved for 14 days. When using the tubes, no plasma volume will be lost after shipping/transportation. Also hemolysis is prevented so plasma will separate better. Please visit NG63950 , NGDx63950 or NGDx63950-100 for more information about Norgen’s cf-DNA/cf-RNA Preservative Tubes.

[1] Source 1

[2] Source 2

[3] Source 3; Nature