J Hepatol 2019 Apr 17. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China; Department of Chemical Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China; State Key Laboratory of Translational Oncology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China. Electronic address:
There is much global research interest into the use of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for liquid biopsies. cfDNA-based noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for fetal chromosomal aneuploidies was the first success in using cfDNA technology to profoundly transform clinical practice, and has been rapidly adopted in dozens of countries and used by millions of pregnant women every year. Prompted by such developments, efforts to use cfDNA for other fields, especially for cancer detection and monitoring have been actively pursued in recent years. Cancer-associated aberrations including single nucleotide mutations, copy number aberrations, aberrations in methylation and alteration in DNA fragmentation pattern have been detected in the cfDNA of patients suffering from a wide variety of cancers. In addition, the analysis of methylation and fragmentation patterns has allowed the determination of the tissue origin of cfDNA. In this review, different approaches for detecting liver derived nucleic acids and cancer-associated aberrations, as well as their potential clinical applications for the detection, monitoring and management of hepatocellular carcinoma, would be discussed.