Cell-free DNA technologies for the analysis of brain cancer

Richard Mair, Florent Mouliere

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Survival for glioma patients has shown minimal improvement over the past 20 years. The ability to detect and monitor gliomas relies primarily upon imaging technologies that lack sensitivity and specificity, especially during the post-surgical treatment phase. Treatment-response monitoring with an effective liquid-biopsy paradigm may also provide the most facile clinical scenario for liquid-biopsy integration into brain-tumour care. Conceptually, liquid biopsy is advantageous when compared with both tissue sampling (less invasive) and imaging (more sensitive and specific), but is hampered by technical and biological problems. These problems predominantly relate to low concentrations of tumour-derived DNA in the bloodstream of glioma patients. In this review, we highlight methods by which the neuro-oncological scientific and clinical communities have attempted to circumvent this limitation. The use of novel biological, technological and computational approaches will be explored. The utility of alternate bio-fluids, tumour-guided sequencing, epigenomic and fragmentomic methods may eventually be leveraged to provide the biological and technological means to unlock a wide range of clinical applications for liquid biopsy in glioma.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2021

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