Liquid Biopsy in layman's terms is detecting cancer cells or cancer material from a simple blood sample rather than putting needles in the body organs to get tissues/cells for assessment of cancer cells.
Dr. Mandeep Singh, Chief mentor & Lead oncologist at Art of Healing Cancer, explains Liquid Biopsy is either in form of Circulating tumor DNA (CtDNA) i.e. genetic material that is released by tumor cells into the bloodstream, while Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) are whole tumor cells that have detached from the primary tumor and entered the bloodstream.
It is a less invasive and simpler procedure. It has a proven role in prognostication i.e. it can predict cancer recurrence before it shows in the imaging such as PET CT scan. For e.g: -
- A patient who has completed his/her treatment of cancer in form of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be followed up by timely blood samples for liquid biopsy and it can ring alarm bells at initial stages so that timely intervention can be done.
- A patient with advanced stage cancer is being treated with newer modalities like immunotherapy, cancer vaccines, neutraceuticals, etc can monitor the treatment response with liquid biopsy.
Certain uses of Liquid Biopsy which can be game changing in the field of cancer treatment:
- The Circulating Tumor cells can be isolated from bloodstream. These cells can then be grown in the lab in form of 3D cell culture/organoid; viability assays to assess the effectiveness of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, natural supplements (ayurveda), etc. The CTC is now believed to be the most representative of disease process as it will have changes present at the primary site as well as whatever new changes the cancer has acquired during its spread
- Genomic analysis of CtDNA or from the DNA / RNA of CTC helps to understand the changes which caused cancer, the pathways that are active or downregulated which are causing the spread of disease so that they can be targeted by conventional chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy or natural supplements to achieve better cancer control. CtDNA fragements can represent the complete changes or may represent only some part, therefore the preferred genomic analysis is from the DNA / RNA of CTCs.
Art of Healing Cancer has collaborated with RGCC Labs Greece, a pioneer in the field of liquid biopsy, to offer its services in India. RGCC Labs uses advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment to analyze CtDNA and CTCs, providing clinicians with accurate and reliable results.
"We are excited to offer our patients the latest technology in liquid biopsy, which can help us personalise their cancer treatment and improve their outcomes," said Arpan Talwar, Founder, Art of Healing Cancer. "Through our collaboration with RGCC Labs Greece, we can provide our patients with access to cutting-edge diagnostic tools and treatments."
Liquid biopsy is an exciting new field in cancer care, and Art of Healing Cancer is committed to offering its patients the best possible care through innovative and personalised treatment options.