Appreciate the usefulness of liquid biopsy in liver cancer


The research group of the Maimonides Institute of Biomedical Research of Cordoba (EMB) in Spain, who studied liver diseases and was directed by Dr. Manuel de la Mata, is very active in the field of liver cancer and liver transplantation.

Since 2015, one of its research lines focuses on the usefulness of biopsy fluid in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, which will perform tumor resection, or by surgical resection or liver transplant.

This work has shown that, after surgery, many patients maintain circulating tumor cells for more than a month, which exposes them to a risk of recurrence of tumor in the future. It is not clear what mechanisms the tumor puts in motion in the cases to cheat the human defense system so that it does not detect and eliminate the circulating tumor cells.

Meanwhile, the GC02 group of IMIBIC has proposed to go further and study, not only the phenomenon of hepatocarcinoma cells released into the bloodstream, but also to analyze them to determine the potential of the immune system. Nest in other organs and form metastases.

This project can ultimately perform like 2019 thanks to the financing received in a competitive public call by the Carlos Wu Health Institute. This is expected to advance into the knowledge of this disease, to develop more effective treatment strategies to improve the life expectancy of patients with liver cancer.

Liver cancer called hepatocarcinoma is the leading cause of death in patients with liver disease. The biopsy of the tumor is not usually necessary for the diagnosis since the imaging tests (card and mRI) are highly specific. This is something we must add to the fact that liver biopsy is a complex technique, annoying for the patient and not without risk. This makes the Hepatocarcinoma the only malignant tumor that does not need to be analyzed under a microscope prior to its treatment.

Most tumors, especially hepatocarcinoma, are capable of releasing cancer cells into the blood to grow and develop metastases, even in the distant organ. Liquid Biopsy is a revolutionary technique in the field of Oncology, which allows and detects circulating cells from cells of only 6 ml of blood.

In this way, it is possible to extract direct information from the tumor without having to submit the patient to diagnostic risk procedures.

The follow-up over time with repeated liquid biopsy offers information about the changes that occur in the tumor, which would allow the physician to know in real-time the mechanisms that the tumor developed to become resistant to the treatments, thus unleashing the progression Of the disease. (Source: IMI / Discover Wikipedia)

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