Liquid biopsy in T-cell lymphoma: biomarker detection techniques and clinical application

Mol Cancer. 2024 Feb 17;23(1):36. doi: 10.1186/s12943-024-01947-7.


T-cell lymphoma is a highly invasive tumor with significant heterogeneity. Invasive tissue biopsy is the gold standard for acquiring molecular data and categorizing lymphoma patients into genetic subtypes. However, surgical intervention is unfeasible for patients who are critically ill, have unresectable tumors, or demonstrate low compliance, making tissue biopsies inaccessible to these patients. A critical need for a minimally invasive approach in T-cell lymphoma is evident, particularly in the areas of early diagnosis, prognostic monitoring, treatment response, and drug resistance. Therefore, the clinical application of liquid biopsy techniques has gained significant attention in T-cell lymphoma. Moreover, liquid biopsy requires fewer samples, exhibits good reproducibility, and enables real-time monitoring at molecular levels, thereby facilitating personalized health care. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current liquid biopsy biomarkers used for T-cell lymphoma, focusing on circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA), circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), circulating tumor cells (CTCs), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA, antibodies, and cytokines. Additionally, we discuss their clinical application, detection methodologies, ongoing clinical trials, and the challenges faced in the field of liquid biopsy.

Keywords: Antibody; CTCs; Cytokines; EBV DNA; Liquid biopsy; T-cell lymphoma; cfDNA/ctDNA.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy / methods
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell* / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell* / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Biomarkers, Tumor