Liquid biopsy techniques and pancreatic cancer: diagnosis, monitoring, and evaluation
Kangchun Wang, Xin Wang, Qi Pan, Bei Zhao
Mol Cancer . 2023 Oct 6;22(1):167. doi: 10.1186/s12943-023-01870-3.
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most common malignancies. Surgical resection is a potential curative approach for PC, but most patients are unsuitable for operations when at the time of diagnosis. Even with surgery, some patients may still experience tumour metastasis during the operation or shortly after surgery, as precise prognosis evaluation is not always possible. If patients miss the opportunity for surgery and resort to chemotherapy, they may face the challenging issue of chemotherapy resistance. In recent years, liquid biopsy has shown promising prospects in disease diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and prognosis assessment. As a noninvasive detection method, liquid biopsy offers advantages over traditional diagnostic procedures, such as tissue biopsy, in terms of both cost-effectiveness and convenience. The information provided by liquid biopsy helps clinical practitioners understand the molecular mechanisms underlying tumour occurrence and development, enabling the formulation of more precise and personalized treatment decisions for each patient. This review introduces molecular biomarkers and detection methods in liquid biopsy for PC, including circulating tumour cells (CTCs), circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), and extracellular vesicles (EVs) or exosomes. Additionally, we summarize the applications of liquid biopsy in the early diagnosis, treatment response, resistance assessment, and prognostic evaluation of PC.