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Aurora magazine

Promises of liquid biopsy for genetic screening

In recent years we are seeing an increasing use of liquid biopsy. This technique makes it possible to perform non-invasive and safe genetic screening. It is used above all in the context of prenatal screening, but tests are also being developed to identify tumor biomarkers.

As technologies become more precise, the possible applications for personalized medicine increase. In the liquid biopsy, the doctors analyze the DNA of the cells in suspension inside the blood. In the case of the fetal DNA test, the fetal cells are separated from the maternal ones. It is also possible to analyze any tumor cells, so as to monitor the progression of the cancer.

This allows the therapy to be adapted to the body's response, without waiting for the positive or - above all - negative effects to be evident. Nevertheless, there are still many studies in progress on the subject of liquid biopsy. Two of the main studies concern the application against melanoma and tumors in general.

Dr. Tatiana Burjanivova's team has identified a melanoma genetic mutation. As a result, it can act as a genetic biomarker for early diagnosis and better treatment of the disease. Dr Hui Kang's team, on the other hand, identified high levels of SOX2-OT RNA in those suffering from lung cancer. The higher the levels, the more advanced the disease and the more metastases there are. Liquid biopsies promise to revolutionize laboratory tests over the next decade. Prenatal screening tests were only a beginning and there are hundreds of possible applications.