Cancer is the prominent cause of death worldwide. According to the report of the World Health Organization, in 2022, more than 1,918,030 new cancer cases and 609,360 deaths due to cancer were recorded worldwide. The most common reason behind the high mortality rate is that the majority of cancer cases are detected at the last stage. Early detection of cancer enhances survival chances with appropriate treatment. When a person has suspicious cancer symptoms, tissue biopsy is the standard procedure to diagnose cancer. The tissue biopsy is an invasive process, which is painful and risky for the patients suffering from cancer. Some patients may not be able to undergo tissue biopsy because of the inaccessibility of their tumor. Furthermore, cancer treatment may require frequent tissue biopsy, which may trouble patients because of its invasive nature and cost associated with screening tests.
Thus, the identification of non-invasive or minimally invasive diagnosing techniques is desperately needed for early detection and to predict resistance to therapies quickly. Over the past few decades, advances in pharmaceuticals have enabled researchers to find non-invasive methods for cancer diagnosis, such as liquid biopsy. The development of liquid diagnostics has revolutionized the screening of cancer, offering hassle-free tumor sampling, repetitive monitoring, therapeutic resistance screening, and customizing therapeutic approaches. Currently, the liquid biopsy market completely focuses on finding new opportunities in the early detection of cancer.
What is Liquid Biopsy?
Liquid diagnostics is a non-invasive method that helps to diagnose tumors through a blood sample. Blood contains cancer-derived elements, including cell-free circulating tumor DNA (cfDNA) and intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs). When the tumor increases in volume, the phagocytes in the blood start eliminating necrotic and apoptotic fragments, leading to excessive release of cfDNA into the blood. Clinicians can use blood samples to analyze the tumor. The liquid biopsy technique provides a non-invasive diagnosis of cancer by obtaining tissues from the body. This non-invasive method is primarily used for diagnosing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. The data collected from the liquid biopsy test has been used to obtain a detailed insight into the tumor.
▪ Chromosomal abnormalities
▪ RNA and protein expression
▪ Point mutations
▪ Deletion, amplification, and translocation of genes
Types of Liquid Biopsy Techniques
Several research and clinical trials have taken place for the development of liquid biopsy techniques for the early detection of cancer. The current liquid biopsy market landscape has witnessed two primary techniques:
1. Circulating Tumor Cell Tests
Circulating tumor cells are released into the bloodstream when the tumor increases in size. These CTCs travel from the bloodstream to other areas of the body as CTCs have the potential to cause metastases and spread cancer into the body. The CTCs consist of different types of molecular markers according to the type of cancer. Most cancer originates from epithelial cells. Hence, a CTC test is formed for the diagnosis of cancer. The initial liquid biopsy procedure focuses on the detection of EpCAM in the blood. However, the EpCAM expression may vary according to different forms of cancer; this is significantly applicable to cancers such as prostate and breast cancer that express EpCAM. In that instance, a breast cancer liquid biopsy is performed for diagnosis.
2. Cell-Free DNA / Circulating Tumor DNA Tests
Cell-free DNA, often known as cfDNA or ctDNA, refers to the fragmented DNA that is released into the biofluids. It is released into the blood mainly through necrosis (accidental cell death), apoptosis (programmed cell death), and active secretion. The fragments of ctDNA can be used for the diagnosing of cancer using a liquid biopsy test.
The non-invasive diagnostics market has opened several avenues for the early detection of the tumor, continuous treatment, and screening of markers for cancer therapeutic resistance. Although the liquid biopsy technology is still evolving, several research are underway to provide new methodology for monitoring outcomes of cancer treatment.
The advances in technologies and government initiatives have enabled key pharmaceutical players to establish non-invasive diagnosing approaches for early detection of cancer. However, several obstacles restrict the research and pose challenges to the liquid biopsy market growth.
▪ The need for more skilled researchers for the operation of instruments has become a major factor that refrains the growth of the liquid biopsy market.
▪ The blood collection is a sensitive technique for liquid biopsy. Hence, negligence in blood collection can ruin the process of diagnosis. Therefore, there is a requirement for a highly skilled trainer who understands the procedure and performs it with great precision.
▪ The high incremental liquid biopsy cost becomes a reason for the slow growth of the market.
What Are the Drivers of the Liquid Biopsy Market
Over the past few decades, the number of cancer patients is rising even when treatment is available for patients. The staggering increase in cancer cases broadly emphasizes the requirement of an accurate diagnostic system for early detection to provide better treatment to the patient at an early stage and reduce the risk of life.
Several biotechnologies, research companies, and medical equipment firms emerged as key opportunists for the liquid biopsy market to find unique solutions for biopsy tests and facilitate cancer research so patients can live a quality life. With widespread adoption of cutting-edge technological developments such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and microchip-based liquid biopsy diagnosing services, the liquid biopsy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% in the forecast period, according to Roots Analysis.
In addition, key industrial players such as Janssen Global Services, Biocept, and Trovagene have entered the market for the development of liquid biopsy technologies which result in the growth of the liquid biopsy market. Furthermore, the approval of patents remains a prominent factor in the growth of the liquid biopsy market.
Future of Liquid Biopsy Market
Most of the current research on liquid biopsy has emphasized creating an easy test for early detection of cancer. However, there are lots of improvements required to search for the best liquid biopsy technique for early detection. For example, there is a requirement to identify a better way to target and separate circulating tumor DNA from DNA fragments present in the blood. Moreover, researchers are also required to focus on strategies to differentiate aggressive cancers.
About Roots Analysis
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