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Swiss Med Wkly. 2019 Jan 23;149:w14709. doi: smw.2019.14709. eCollection 2019 Jan 14.

Liquid biopsy in tissue-born lymphomas.

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Haematology, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland / Institute of Oncology Research, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


In the era of personalised medicine, genetic information is critical to directing therapeutic options, aiding risk stratification and disease monitoring of lymphomas. Liquid biopsy is a novel noninvasive, real-time and tumour-specific technique, reliably reflecting the comprehensive tumour genetic profile, and thus holds great promise for the genetic assessment, response monitoring and relapse detection of lymphomas. Standard methods for disease response assessment in patients with lymphoma, including positron emission tomography, are imperfect. In other haematological malignancies, particularly leukaemias, the ability to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) is increasingly influencing treatment paradigms. However, in some subtypes of lymphoma, such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the application of MRD assessment techniques such as flow cytometry or polymerase chain reaction-based methods has been challenged by the absence of circulating disease. The review summarises the applications of liquid biopsy in the assessment of tumour burden and response to therapy, noninvasive genomic profiling, and monitoring of clonal dynamics in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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