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Liquid biopsy for liver diseases


With the growing number of novel therapeutic approaches for liver diseases, significant research efforts have been devoted to the development of liquid biopsy tools for precision medicine. This can be defined as non-invasive reliable biomarkers that can supplement and eventually replace the invasive liver biopsy for diagnosis, disease stratification and monitoring of response to therapeutic interventions. Similarly, detection of liver cancer at an earlier stage of the disease, potentially susceptible to curative resection, can be critical to improve patient survival. Circulating extracellular vesicles, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and tumour cells have emerged as attractive liquid biopsy candidates because they fulfil many of the key characteristics of an ideal biomarker. In this review, we summarise the currently available information regarding these promising and potential transformative tools, as well as the issues still needed to be addressed for adopting various liquid biopsy approaches into clinical practice. These studies may pave the way to the development of a new generation of reliable, mechanism-based disease biomarkers.

  • clinical trials
  • chronic liver disease
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • liver biopsy

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