Liquid biopsy is an advanced cancer diagnostic test. It examines biofluids, namely plasma, blood, CSF, and urine for uncovering cancer. Liquid biopsy can detect early-stage cancer as well. It is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses circulating tumour cells (CTC), circulating nucleic acids, and exosomes as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis. While blood sample is used primarily for diagnosis of lung cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer, CSF and urine samples find application in diagnosis of brain and prostate cancer and brain cancer respectively.

Liquid biopsy is predicted to gain traction in the years to come due to increasing preference for non-invasive diagnostic procedures both by patients and oncologists and increasing demand from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Apart from that, alarming rise in instances of lung cancer, increasing product launches, and growing uptake of personalized medicines is also predicted to boost the liquid biopsy market.

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Depending upon disease indication, the global market for liquid biopsy can be divided into gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, leukemia, etc. Clinics in North America are opting for advanced treatment therapies leading to the reduced risk of cancer recurrence. Increasing prevalence of lung and breast cancer is the main reason for the increasing revenue of liquid biopsy tests for lung and breast cancer respectively.

Lung cancer is expected to generate most of the revenue in the market for liquid biopsy in the years to come. Breast cancer is predicted to come in second in terms of revenue generation. While the segment of lung cancer will likely expand at CAGR of 21.3% over the course of the forecast period from 2017 to 2025, the segment of breast cancer segment will likely clock a CAGR of 21.4% in terms of value over the forecast period.

The global market for liquid biopsy is characterized by stiff competition among the established players, who are pouring money into development of more effective molecular diagnostic tests in liquid biopsy. Such tests steal a march over tissue biopsy by dint of being of non-invasive in nature. Besides, they are also a more affordable method of monitoring patients during the treatment.

Companies in the liquid biopsy market are trying to develop a clutch of tests to monitor the progress of the disease. Further, liquid biopsies are being increasingly used for selection of drugs during diagnosis, when biopsy tissue is not available. An advantage of liquid biopsies is that they serve to uncover drug resistance, screening or early detection of cancer, development of companion diagnostics, determination of prognoses, and examination of tumor heterogeneity.

Some of the key players operating in the global market for liquid biopsy are Biocept, Inc., Qiagen N.V., Trovagene, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, MDxHealth SA, Natera, Inc., F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., Silicon Biosystems S.p.A., Pathway Genomics Corporation, and Sysmex Corporation.

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