Document Type: Editorials
Chronic Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Department of Pathology, Doctor Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is now being extensively studied as it is a noninvasive “real-time” biomarker that can provide diagnostic and prognostic information before, during treatment and at progression. These include DNA mutations, epigenetic alterations and other forms of tumor-specific abnormalities such as microsatellite instability (MSI) and loss of heterozygosity (LOH). ctDNA is of great value in the process of cancer treatment. However, up to date, there is no strict standard considering the exact biomarker because the development and progression of cancer is extremely complicated. Also, results of the studies evaluating ctDNA are not consistent due to the different detection methods and processing. The major challenge is still the exact position of ctDNA in cancer management and the exact place of it versus tissue biopsy. actually it is still under the debate that circulating tumor markers will take the place of standard tissue biopsy or will support it to guide us to the more effective interventions?