Over the last decade, liquid biopsy has gained much attention as a powerful tool in personalized medicine, since it enables monitoring cancer evolution and follow-up of cancer patients in real time. Through minimally invasive procedures, liquid biopsy provides important information through the analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs), and circulating tumour-derived material like circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), circulating miRNAs (cfmiRNAs) and extracellular vehicles (EVs). CTCs and ctDNA analysis has already an important impact on the prognosis, detection of minimal residual disease (MRD), treatment selection and monitoring of cancer patients, while recent data show also its potential for early cancer diagnosis (Figure 1). Numerous clinical trials include now a liquid biopsy arm, and functional studies mainly based on CTC derived cell-lines and CTC derived explants (CDx) provide important insight on the metastatic process. The recent findings in the field of liquid biopsy and the benefits and main clinical applications of CTC and ctDNA analysis in solid tumors are summarized in this presentation.
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