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JAMA Insights
Genomics and Precision Health
October 3, 2017

Cancer DNA in the Circulation: The Liquid Biopsy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Hematology and Oncology, Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla
  • 2The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2017;318(13):1272-1274. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.12131

Targeted therapies for cancer have changed treatment approaches for several solid tumor malignancies. Analyses of cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) enable noninvasive cancer detection and characterization, prediction of treatment response, monitoring of disease relapse, and identification of mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies. With newer technologies, the sensitivity and specificity of ctDNA detection assays have improved and facilitate a greater role for ctDNA diagnostics in clinical practice (Figure).