Combining imaging and liquid biopsy for cervical cancer

The authors – researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Johns Hopkins University – noted that liquid biopsy has emerged as a promising tool that may be able to overcome some of the drawbacks of the imagery.


“Future work should prioritize how best to synergize imaging and liquid biopsy as an integrated approach for optimal management of cervical cancer,” the authors wrote.


In the context of cervical cancer pretreatment planning and response assessment, imaging is increasingly being adopted, particularly in high-resource settings that provide access to computed tomography (CT) ), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Indeed, in 2018, imaging was incorporated into the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics staging system for cervical cancer.


“Magnetic resonance imaging is advantageous over computed tomography for the assessment of the size and extent of primary cervical cancer, due to superior contrast resolution,” the authors wrote. authors. “In addition, quantitative methods, including diffusion-weighted and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, show promise for improving treatment response and prognosis assessment.”


Nevertheless, imaging has its challenges; they include the “limited ability to detect microscopic metastases or to distinguish between post-chemoradiotherapy changes and residual tumor,” the authors wrote, adding that preliminary evidence suggests that liquid biopsy may be able to identify response and resistance to cervical cancer treatment earlier than traditional methods.


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