Liquid biopsy in gliomas: A RANO review and proposals for clinical applications

Neuro Oncol. 2022 Jun 1;24(6):855-871. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noac004.


Background: There is an extensive literature highlighting the utility of blood-based liquid biopsies in several extracranial tumors for diagnosis and monitoring.

Methods: The RANO (Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology) group developed a multidisciplinary international Task Force to review the English literature on liquid biopsy in gliomas focusing on the most frequently used techniques, that is circulating tumor DNA, circulating tumor cells, and extracellular vesicles in blood and CSF.

Results: ctDNA has a higher sensitivity and capacity to represent the spatial and temporal heterogeneity in comparison to circulating tumor cells. Exosomes have the advantages to cross an intact blood-brain barrier and carry also RNA, miRNA, and proteins. Several clinical applications of liquid biopsies are suggested: to establish a diagnosis when tissue is not available, monitor the residual disease after surgery, distinguish progression from pseudoprogression, and predict the outcome.

Conclusions: There is a need for standardization of biofluid collection, choice of an analyte, and detection strategies along with rigorous testing in future clinical trials to validate findings and enable entry into clinical practice.

Keywords: CSF; circulating tumor cells; ctDNA; extracellular vesicles; gliomas.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Circulating Tumor DNA* / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Glioma* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy / methods
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating* / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Circulating Tumor DNA
  • DNA, Neoplasm