Current Oncology Reports

, 20:70 | Cite as

The Present and Future of Liquid Biopsies in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Combining Four Biosources for Diagnosis, Prognosis, Prediction, and Disease Monitoring

  • Jillian Wilhelmina Paulina Bracht
  • Clara Mayo-de-las-Casas
  • Jordi Berenguer
  • Niki KarachaliouEmail author
  • Rafael RosellEmail author
Lung Cancer (H Borghaei, Section Editor)


Purpose of Review

Liquid biopsies have potential as tools for diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of response to therapy. Herein, we will extensively review four liquid biosources, tumor-educated platelets (TEPs), cell-free DNA (cfDNA), circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and extracellular vesicles (EVs) and we will clarify their optimal application in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) diagnosis and therapy.

Recent Findings

Liquid biopsies are a minimally invasive alternative to tissue biopsies—especially important in NSCLC patients—since tumor tissue is often unavailable or insufficient for complete genetic analysis. The main advantages of liquid biopsies include the possibility for repeated sampling, the lower cost, and the fact that they can reflect the complete molecular status of the patient better than a single-site biopsy. This is specifically important for lung adenocarcinoma patients since the detection of specific genetic alterations can predict response to targeted therapies.


Molecular analysis is currently cardinal for therapy decision-making and disease monitoring in lung cancer patients. Liquid biopsies can make easier our daily clinical practice and if prospectively tested and validated may serve as a means for lung cancer early detection.


Liquid biopsy Liquid biosources NSCLC Lung cancer Diagnostic biomarker Prognostic biomarker Predictive biomarker Resistance biomarker TEPs cfDNA ctDNA EVs Exosomes CTCs 



The work of Jillian Wilhelmina Paulina Bracht in Pangaea Oncology is supported by a European Grant (ELBA No 765492). Work in Dr. Rosell’s laboratory is partially supported by a grant from La Caixa Foundation, an Instituto de Salud Carlos III grant (RESPONSE, PIE16/00011) and a European Grant (ELBA No 765492).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jillian Wilhelmina Paulina Bracht, Clara Mayo-de-las-Casas, Jordi Berenguer, Niki Karachaliou, and Rafael Rosell declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jillian Wilhelmina Paulina Bracht
    • 1
  • Clara Mayo-de-las-Casas
    • 1
  • Jordi Berenguer
    • 1
  • Niki Karachaliou
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rafael Rosell
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Pangaea Oncology, Laboratory of Molecular BiologyQuirón-Dexeus University InstituteBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Oncológico Dr Rosell (IOR)University Hospital Sagrat Cor, QuironSalud GroupBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institut Català d’OncologiaHospital Germans Trias i PujolBadalonaSpain
  4. 4.Institut d’Investigació en Ciències Germans Trias i PujolBadalonaSpain
  5. 5.Instituto Oncológico Dr Rosell (IOR)Quirón-Dexeus University InstituteBarcelonaSpain

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