Circulating tumor DNA analysis in breast cancer: Is it ready for prime-time?

Giuseppe Buono, Lorenzo Gerratana*, Michela Bulfoni, Nicoletta Provinciali, Debora Basile, Mario Giuliano, Carla Corvaja, Grazia Arpino, Lucia Del Mastro, Sabino De Placido, Michele De Laurentiis, Massimo Cristofanilli, Fabio Puglisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Scopus citations


Precision Medicine is becoming the new paradigm in healthcare as it enables better resources allocation, treatment optimization with a potential side-effects reduction and consequent impact on quality of life and survival. This revolution is being catalyzed by liquid biopsy technologies, which provide prognostic and predictive information for advanced cancer patients, without the analytical and procedural drawbacks of tissue-biopsy. In particular, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is gaining momentum as a clinically feasible option capable to capture both spatial and temporal tumor heterogeneity. Several techniques are currently available for ctDNA extraction and analysis, each with its preferential case scenarios and preanalytical implications which must be taken into consideration to effectively support clinical decision-making and to better highlight its clinical utility. Aim of this review is to summarize both analytical developments and clinical evidences to offer a comprehensive update on the deployment of ctDNA in breast cancer's (BC) characterization and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Circulating tumor DNA
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Longitudinal molecular assessment
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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