In the constant quest to detect cancer in its early stages, scientists have turned their eyes to liquid biopsy, a technique that could revolutionize the early diagnosis of this devastating disease. Liquid biopsy involves testing samples of blood or other body fluids for biological signs of the tumor, even in patients who appear healthy. This method, which is less invasive than traditional biopsies, has been used to monitor metastatic tumors and evaluate the effectiveness of certain oncological treatments. A study published in The Lancet has added evidence about the potential of liquid biopsy for the early detection of cancer in asymptomatic people.
In the study, more than 6,600 apparently healthy participants underwent blood tests for early cancer detection. Signs of cancer were detected in 92 cases, but 57 turned out to be false positives. Despite the challenges, the study demonstrates the clinical feasibility of these tests, although more research is needed to refine their sensitivity and avoid both false positives and false negatives.
Experts emphasize the importance of improving the technique to make it suitable for population screening. Additionally, issues such as overdiagnosis and variability in tumor DNA release in different tumor types must be addressed. Despite these challenges, liquid biopsy is emerging as a promising tool in the early detection of cancer, offering hope in the fight against this disease and highlighting the innovative potential of science in healthcare.