Non-invasive ctDNA analysis
Liquid biopsy describes the process of extracting a small blood sample from a patient, and screening this for genetic markers that indicate the presence of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). With the development of increasingly sensitive sequencing and analysis techniques, researchers are now able to identify tiny fragments of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).
The ctDNA shed from cancerous tumors contains genetic information that can help stratify patients, monitor treatment progress, and identify emerging resistance.
Diagram representing the release of ctDNA into the bloodstream by a tumor. ctDNA can be distinguished from other cell-free DNA of non-cancerous origin by the presence of cancer-specic mutations.
Liquid biopsies are able to isolate the tiny amounts of ctDNA released by the tumor from the background cfDNA, by identifying hallmark genetic mutations.
Inivata is developing some of the most sensitive techniques available to isolate this ctDNA and identify a broad range of disease-specific mutations.
Blood samples can be drawn from a patient before, during, and/or after cancer treatment, or at regular intervals. Liquid biopsy has the potential for continual monitoring, which is a major advantage in cancer care.
Once collected, the blood sample is centrifuged to separate the plasma containing the cell-free DNA from other components. The DNA is then extracted, amplified, and then analyzed for mutations.
Being able to analyze the liquid biopsy for multiple mutations simultaneously allows the clinician to better understand the tumor profile and adapt treatment appropriately.