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Liquid Biopsy for Cancer: Circulating Tumor Cells, Circulating Free DNA or Exosomes?

ABSTRACT

Precision medicine and personalized medicine are based on the development of biomarkers, and liquid biopsy has been reported to be able to detect biomarkers that carry information on tumor development and progression. Compared with traditional 'solid biopsy', which cannot always be performed to determine tumor dynamics, liquid biopsy has notable advantages in that it is a noninvasive modality that can provide diagnostic and prognostic information prior to treatment, during treatment and during progression. In this review, we describe the source, characteristics, technology for detection and current situation of circulating tumor cells, circulating free DNA and exosomes used for diagnosis, recurrence monitoring, prognosis assessment and medication planning.