Liquid biopsy is defined as, “A test done on a sample of blood to look for cancer cells from a tumor that are circulating in the blood or for pieces of DNA from tumor cells that are in the blood. A liquid biopsy may be used to help find cancer at an early stage. It may also be used to help plan treatment or to find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Being able to take multiple samples of blood over time may also help doctors understand what kind of molecular changes are taking place in a tumor.”*
Often times the test is regarded as “non-invasive” as it can be performed with simple venipuncture specimens or voided urine samples.
These tests are gaining traction within the industry as a viable alternative to traditional screening methods for cancer. Study results are turning up positive data in favor of the tests, and a recent report by financial services firm Cowen & Co. said annual sales for the tools could surpass $10 billion.