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Diagnostics Liquid biopsy, Precision medicine, Oncology, Quality assurance and quality control

A Circulating Solution?

Advances in precision medicine are transforming cancer diagnosis and treatment. The potential to detect and monitor both solid tumors and blood cancers has spurred aggressive research programs around the world. Liquid biopsy – the analysis of short nucleic acid fragments (150–500 bp) in blood – provides researchers with a unique opportunity to identify and define signatures for specific tumor types. These circulating free DNA (cfDNA) fragments not only offer the potential for earlier detection and diagnosis, but can also measure therapeutic effectiveness and inform treatment decisions.

Cancers present complex biological pathways that vary across tumor types and patients, and not all tumors respond equally to treatment. For example, therapies targeting pathways in highly proliferative or resistant tumors are more efficient and effective. Personalized genomics has therefore opened a groundbreaking path for molecular diagnostics in oncology.

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About the Authors

Keith Cannon

Director of Commercial Product Management, Diagnostics at Horizon Discovery, San Diego, California, USA.


Prabha Nagarajan

Research Scientist, Diagnostics at Horizon Discovery, Cambridge, UK.

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