The Potential Role of Liquid Biopsies in Advancing the Understanding of Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

J Clin Med. 2021 Jan 21;10(3):403. doi: 10.3390/jcm10030403.


Tumour tissue as a source for molecular profiling and for in vivo models has limitations (e.g., difficult access, limited availability, single time point, potential heterogeneity between primary and metastatic sites). Conversely, liquid biopsies provide an easily accessible approach, enabling timely and longitudinal interrogation of the tumour molecular makeup, with increased ability to capture spatial and temporal intra-tumour heterogeneity compared to tumour tissue. Blood-borne biomarker assays (e.g., circulating tumour cells (CTCs), circulating free/tumour DNA (cf/ctDNA)) pose unique opportunities for aiding in the molecular characterisation and phenotypic subtyping of neuroendocrine neoplasms and will be discussed in this article.

Keywords: biomarkers; cell free DNA; circulating tumour DNA; circulating tumour cells; mRNA; neuroendocrine neoplasms; neuroendocrine tumours; tumour nucleic acid.

Publication types

  • Review