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Liquid Biopsy at the Frontier of Early Detection, Prognosis and Cancer Treatments

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Liquid biopsies rely upon detection of circulating tumor cells, cell free DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, and metabolites present in biofluids of patients. These biospecimens can be easily and reproducibly collected for analyses. The rapid advances in sequencing technologies have further helped the development of FDA-approved liquid biopsies companion diagnostic tests used by clinicians.  

This special issue published by Molecular Cancer focuses on the clinical aspects of liquid biopsies, in particular validation of novel biomarkers that may serve as signature for non-invasive early detection of cancerous cells, predict patients' risks of disease progression and response to specific therapies.

  1. Traditional radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been intensively studied for their role in the treatment of tumours. However, these therapies often cause side effects for patients, which calls for the developme...

    Authors: Qin Yu, Wenhao Fu, Yutang Fu, Wenjing Ye, Huiqiong Yan, Zecheng Yu, Ruirui Li, Yili Cai, Yuxin Chen, Lingyun Wang, Xianqiao Wei, Yangkun Chen, Yuheng Zhang, Huazhong Ying, Furong Tang, Fangwei Dai…
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:143
  2. The treatment of Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has always been challenging due to its heterogeneity and the absence of well-defined molecular targets. The present study aims to elucidate the role of pro...

    Authors: Runjie Song, Peilan Guo, Xin Ren, Lijun Zhou, Peng Li, Nafis A Rahman, Sławomir Wołczyński, Xiru Li, Yanjun Zhang, Mei Liu, Jiali Liu and Xiangdong Li
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:104
  3. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a major pathological type of kidney cancer and is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. The unremarkable symptoms of early stages, proneness to postoperative metastasis o...

    Authors: Mingyang Li, Lei Li, Jianyi Zheng, Zeyu Li, Shijie Li, Kefeng Wang and Xiaonan Chen
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:37
  4. Current clinical tools for breast cancer (BC) diagnosis are insufficient but liquid biopsy of different bodily fluids has recently emerged as a minimally invasive strategy that provides a real-time snapshot of...

    Authors: Yujin Lee, Jie Ni, Julia Beretov, Valerie C. Wasinger, Peter Graham and Yong Li
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:33
  5. tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) are an emerging category of small non-coding RNAs that are generated from cleavage of mature tRNAs or tRNA precursors. The advance in high-throughput sequencing has contributed to...

    Authors: Min Fu, Jianmei Gu, Maoye Wang, Jiahui Zhang, Yanke Chen, Pengcheng Jiang, Taofeng Zhu and Xu Zhang
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:30
  6. Current methods for the early detection and minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring of urothelial carcinoma (UC) are invasive and/or possess suboptimal sensitivity. We developed an efficient workflow named u...

    Authors: Kaiwei Yang, Hailong Hu, Junlong Wu, Huina Wang, Zhaoxia Guo, Wei Yu, Lin Yao, Feng Ding, Tao Zhou, Wang Wang, Yunkai Wang, Lei Liu, Jing Guo, Shuaipeng Zhu, Xinhao Zhang, Shanbo Cao…
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:25
  7. hsa_circ_0001727 (circZKSCAN1) has been reported to be a tumor-associated circRNA by sponging microRNAs. Intriguingly, we found that circZKSCAN1 encoded a secretory peptide (circZKSaa) in the liver. The presen...

    Authors: Runjie Song, Shuoqian Ma, Jiajia Xu, Xin Ren, Peilan Guo, Huijiao Liu, Peng Li, Fan Yin, Mei Liu, Qiang Wang, Lei Yu, Jiali Liu, Binwei Duan, Nafis A. Rahman, Sławomir Wołczyński, Guangming Li…
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:16
  8. Despite advances in early detection and therapies, cancer is still one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Since each tumor is unique, there is a need to implement personalized care and develop robus...

    Authors: Pavel Stejskal, Hani Goodarzi, Josef Srovnal, Marián Hajdúch, Laura J. van ’t Veer and Mark Jesus M. Magbanua
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:15
  9. Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common tumors worldwide and the leading cause of tumor-related mortality. Endoscopy and serological tumor marker testing are currently the main methods of GC screening, a...

    Authors: Shuo Ma, Meiling Zhou, Yanhua Xu, Xinliang Gu, Mingyuan Zou, Gulinaizhaer Abudushalamu, Yuming Yao, Xiaobo Fan and Guoqiu Wu
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:7
  10. According to current guidelines, more than 70% of patients with invasive submucosal colorectal cancer (T1 CRC) undergo a radical operation with lymph node dissection, even though only ~ 10% have lymph node met...

    Authors: Katsuki Miyazaki, Yuma Wada, Keisuke Okuno, Tatsuro Murano, Yuji Morine, Tetsuya Ikemoto, Yu Saito, Hiroaki Ikematsu, Yusuke Kinugasa, Mitsuo Shimada and Ajay Goel
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2023 22:2
  11. At present, there is no validated marker to identify the subpopulation of patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC) who might benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). In view of this clinical challenge,...

    Authors: Ting Guo, Xiao-Huan Tang, Xiang-Yu Gao, Yuan Zhou, Bo Jin, Zi-Qian Deng, Ying Hu, Xiao-Fang Xing, Zi-Yu Li and Jia-Fu Ji
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:216
  12. Brother of regulator of imprinted sites (BORIS) is expressed in most cancers and often associated with short survival and poor prognosis in patients. BORIS inhibits apoptosis and promotes proliferation of canc...

    Authors: Yanmei Zhang, Mengdie Fang, Shouye Li, Hao Xu, Juan Ren, Linglan Tu, Bowen Zuo, Wanxin Yao and Guang Liang
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:158
  13. Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy worldwide. One of the main challenges in the management of OC is the late clinical presentation of disease that results in poor survival. Conventio...

    Authors: Jie Wei Zhu, Parsa Charkhchi and Mohammad R. Akbari
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:114
  14. Brain metastasis (BrM) is a major problem associated with cancer-related mortality, and currently, no specific biomarkers are available in clinical settings for early detection. Liquid biopsy is widely accepte...

    Authors: Asad Ur Rehman, Parvez Khan, Shailendra Kumar Maurya, Jawed A. Siddiqui, Juan A. Santamaria-Barria, Surinder K. Batra and Mohd Wasim Nasser
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:113
  15. Breast cancer continues to be a major global problem with significant mortality associated with advanced stage and metastases at clinical presentation. However, several findings suggest that metastasis is inde...

    Authors: Vinitha Richard, Matthew G. Davey, Heidi Annuk, Nicola Miller and Michael J. Kerin
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:95
  16. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide and a leading cause of carcinogenic death. To date, surgical resection is regarded as the gold standard by the operator for clinical decision...

    Authors: Hui Zhou, Liyong Zhu, Jun Song, Guohui Wang, Pengzhou Li, Weizheng Li, Ping Luo, Xulong Sun, Jin Wu, Yunze Liu, Shaihong Zhu and Yi Zhang
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:86
  17. Over the past decade, invasive techniques for diagnosing and monitoring cancers are slowly being replaced by non-invasive methods such as liquid biopsy. Liquid biopsies have drastically revolutionized the fiel...

    Authors: Saife N. Lone, Sabah Nisar, Tariq Masoodi, Mayank Singh, Arshi Rizwan, Sheema Hashem, Wael El-Rifai, Davide Bedognetti, Surinder K. Batra, Mohammad Haris, Ajaz A. Bhat and Muzafar A. Macha
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:79
  18. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are liquid biopsies that represent micrometastatic disease and may offer unique insights into future recurrences in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Due to CTC rarity and limi...

    Authors: Kanve N. Suvilesh, Yulia I. Nussbaum, Vijay Radhakrishnan, Yariswamy Manjunath, Diego M. Avella, Kevin F. Staveley-O’Carroll, Eric T. Kimchi, Aadel A. Chaudhuri, Chi-Ren Shyu, Guangfu Li, Klaus Pantel, Wesley C. Warren, Jonathan B. Mitchem and Jussuf T. Kaifi
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:73
  19. Resident microbial populations have been detected across solid tumors of diverse origins. Sequencing of the airway microbiota represents an opportunity for establishing a novel omics approach to early detectio...

    Authors: Erin A. Marshall, Fernando S. L. Filho, Don D. Sin, Stephen Lam, Janice M. Leung and Wan L. Lam
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:68
  20. The advent of molecular profiling has revolutionized the treatment of lung cancer by comprehensively delineating the genomic landscape of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. Drug resistance cause...

    Authors: Jill Kolesar, Spencer Peh, Levin Thomas, Gayathri Baburaj, Nayonika Mukherjee, Raveena Kantamneni, Shirley Lewis, Ananth Pai, Karthik S. Udupa, Naveena Kumar AN, Vivek M. Rangnekar and Mahadev Rao
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:61
  21. Liquid biopsy, characterized by minimally invasive detection through biofluids such as blood, saliva, and urine, has emerged as a revolutionary strategy for cancer diagnosis and prognosis prediction. Exosomes ...

    Authors: Dan Yu, Yixin Li, Maoye Wang, Jianmei Gu, Wenrong Xu, Hui Cai, Xinjian Fang and Xu Zhang
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:56
  22. Detecting cancer at an early stage before clinical manifestation could be an effective strategy to decrease cancer mortality. Thus, identifying liquid biopsy biomarkers with high efficacy could be a promising ...

    Authors: K. Auxzilia Preethi, Sushmaa Chandralekha Selvakumar, Kehinde Ross, Selvaraj Jayaraman, Deusdedit Tusubira and Durairaj Sekar
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:54
  23. Alterations in DNAs could not reveal what happened in proteins. The accumulated alterations of DNAs would change the manifestation of proteins. Therefore, as is the case in cancer liquid biopsies, deep proteom...

    Authors: Zhiyong Ding, Nan Wang, Ning Ji and Zhe-Sheng Chen
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:53
  24. Currently, there is no clinically relevant non-invasive biomarker for early detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Herein, we established and evaluated a circulating microRNA (miRNA)-based sig...

    Authors: Jinsei Miyoshi, Zhongxu Zhu, Aiping Luo, Shusuke Toden, Xuantong Zhou, Daisuke Izumi, Mitsuro Kanda, Tetsuji Takayama, Iqbal M. Parker, Minjie Wang, Feng Gao, Ali H. Zaidi, Hideo Baba, Yasuhiro Kodera, Yongping Cui, Xin Wang…
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:44
  25. Majority of gastric cancers (GC) are diagnosed at advanced stages which contributes towards their poor prognosis. In view of this clinical challenge, identification of non-invasive biomarker for early diagnosi...

    Authors: Souvick Roy, Mitsuro Kanda, Sachiyo Nomura, Zhongxu Zhu, Yuji Toiyama, Akinobu Taketomi, James Goldenring, Hideo Baba, Yasuhiro Kodera and Ajay Goel
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:42
  26. Primary lung cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors in China. Approximately 60% of lung cancer patients have distant metastasis at the initial diagnosis, so it is necessary to find new tumor markers...

    Authors: Wen Li, Ji-Bin Liu, Li-Kun Hou, Fei Yu, Jie Zhang, Wei Wu, Xiao-Mei Tang, Feng Sun, Hai-Min Lu, Jing Deng, Jie Bai, Juan Li, Chun-Yan Wu, Qin-Lu Lin, Zhong-Wei Lv, Gao-Ren Wang…
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:25
  27. The immunotherapy with immune checkpoints inhibitors (ICI) has changed the life expectancy in metastatic melanoma (MM) patients. Nevertheless, several patients do not respond hence, the identification and vali...

    Authors: Simona Serratì, Michele Guida, Roberta Di Fonte, Simona De Summa, Sabino Strippoli, Rosa Maria Iacobazzi, Alessandra Quarta, Ivana De Risi, Gabriella Guida, Angelo Paradiso, Letizia Porcelli and Amalia Azzariti
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:20
  28. Authors: Thomas Dillinger, Raheleh Sheibani-Tezerji, Walter Pulverer, Ines Stelzer, Melanie R. Hassler, Janine Scheibelreiter, Carlos Uziel Pérez Malla, Madeleine Kuroll, Sandra Domazet, Elisa Redl, Sarah Ely, Stefanie Brezina, Andreas Tiefenbacher, Katharina Rebhan, Nicolai Hübner, Bernhard Grubmüller…
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2022 21:7
  29. Recent studies have revealed the significant dysregulation of m6A level in peripheral blood in several cancer types and its value in diagnosis. Nonetheless, a biomarker for accurate screening of multiple cancer t...

    Authors: Bo Zhang, Zhenmei Chen, Baorui Tao, Chenhe Yi, Zhifei Lin, Yitong Li, Weiqing Shao, Jing Lin and Jinhong Chen
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2021 20:170
  30. Authors: Matteo Allegretti, Alessandra Fabi, Elena Giordani, Cristiana Ercolani, Paolo Romania, Cecilia Nisticò, Simona Gasparro, Vittoria Barberi, Maria Ciolina, Edoardo Pescarmona, Diana Giannarelli, Gennaro Ciliberto, Francesco Cognetti and Patrizio Giacomini
    Citation: Molecular Cancer 2021 20:151