According to the latest report published by Credence Research, Inc. “Liquid Biopsy Market Growth, Future Prospects and Competitive Analysis, 2016-2022,” the liquid biopsy market was valued at USD 1,881.9 Mn in 2015, and is expected to reach USD 10,850.3 Mn by 2022, expanding at a CAGR of 24.7% from 2016 to 2022.
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In the past, tissue samples extracted through biopsy were evaluated to detected malignancy. However, some micrographs delivered inconsistent and ambiguous results, thus demanding repeated procedure. The advent of molecular diagnostics and next generation sequencing offered pathologists with a powerful tool for efficient diagnosis. Even with such advances, cancer diagnosis still remained subject to the limitation of availability of biopsied tissue, which further posed a challenge in case of monitoring therapy success monitoring. The eventual advent of liquid biopsy however, overcame this constraint by efficiently employing precise circulating tumor cells (CTCs) detection and isolation.
In the recent period, the range of liquid biopsy tools has expanded to incorporation of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and extracellular vesicles (EVs). ctDNA contains a small fraction of the patient’s cell free DNA; it can be readily evaluated for genetic inconsistency using target amplification and sequencing tools. In addition, EVs is currently the latest addition to liquid biopsy portfolio. EVs provide easy access to biomolecule subsets present in whole cells. EVs based technology is focused on identifying mutations in mRNA.
Extensive research is being taken place in the recent years on creating sophisticated analytical tools for analysis of cancer cells for detecting genetic variation at low allele frequency. CTCs are first of such units of liquid biopsy. However, advent of easy isolation of cell-free DNA has provided vital insights that move a step ahead to that of CTCs. The latest tools of EVs analysis are rapidly gaining importance on the basis of their potential ability of identifying genetic variation. The latest CTC technologies employ EpCAM protein for immunocapture, however this tool demonstrate reduced expression during epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Other isolation techniques are heavily dependent on cell size, cellular behavior in electric fields, morphology and deformability. Scarcity of CTCs in blood has urged researchers to develop evolved methods for obtaining molecular information from single cells, thus increasing their potential use in therapy monitoring.
As the commercial interest in this field is on the rise, several large diagnostics and medical technologies companies have ventured in this market. Moreover, there is also a significant rise in the number of startups specializing in the field. Industry giants are striking deals with pharma and biotech companies to expand application areas of liquid biopsy.
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