OPEN International journal of molecular sciences | 13 Jun 2018
F Lousada-Fernandez, O Rapado-Gonzalez, JL Lopez-Cedrun, R Lopez-Lopez, L Muinelo-Romay and MM Suarez-Cunqueiro
Oral cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer worldwide. Carcinogenesis is a complex process, in which heterogeneity plays an important role in the development and progression of the disease. This review provides an overview of the current biological and clinical significance of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), and exosomes for diagnosis and prognosis of oral cancer. We highlight the importance of liquid biopsy—using blood and saliva—which represents a potential alternative to solid biopsy for diagnosis and prognosis. Moreover, liquid biomarkers allow for the real-time monitoring of tumour evolution and therapeutic responses, initiating the era of personalized medicine. However, in oral cancer, the impact of liquid biopsies in clinical settings is still limited, requiring further studies to discover the best scenario for its clinical use.
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