A liquid biopsy is a recent advancement in the diagnostic field that allows physicians to use a blood draw in lieu of bone marrow biopsy for hematologic cancers. It can also be a useful tool for monitoring patients with solid tumors.
Because bone marrow biopsies and traditional biopsies can be painful and invasive this offers a patient a less invasive way to have their tumor profiled and monitored. It is also useful alternative for patient who cannot undergo a biopsy procedure.
The test looks for DNA/RNA that the tumor has sluffed off into the blood stream. It can provide insights into the cancer that are similar to a tissue sample.