J Pathol Transl Med.  2020 May;54(3):204-212. 10.4132/jptm.2020.02.27.

Current status and future perspectives of liquid biopsy in non-small cell lung cancer

  • 1Department of Pathology, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Pathology, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Pathology and Translational Genomics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Pathology, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea


With advances in target therapy, molecular analysis of tumors is routinely required for treatment decisions in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Liquid biopsy refers to the sampling and analysis of circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) in various body fluids, primarily blood. Because the technique is minimally invasive, liquid biopsies are the future in cancer management. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ctDNA tests have been performed in routine clinical practice in advanced NSCLC patients to guide tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. In the near future, liquid biopsy will be a crucial prognostic, predictive, and diagnostic method in NSCLC. Here we present the current status and future perspectives of liquid biopsy in NSCLC.


Carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer; Liquid biopsy; Circulating tumor DNA; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Biomarkers
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