MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – January 15, 2016 – Liquid biopsy is gaining popularity as technology pushes the boundaries of therapy monitoring and enables the diagnosis of disease recurrence post treatment. While 83.3 percent of users cite therapy monitoring as a promising application of liquid biopsy, 76.4 percent of them voted for the diagnosis of disease recurrence. Additionally, users value liquid biopsy’s ability to enable the detection of acquired drug resistance, screening or early detection of cancer, development of companion diagnostics, determination of prognoses, and assessment of tumor heterogeneity or clonality.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 2015 Global Survey on Liquid Biopsy Adoption Trends, details the results from a survey of 101 decision makers for the purchase of liquid biopsy technology. These decision makers are from pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, research institutes and universities, hospital laboratories or reference laboratories employing liquid biopsy technologies.

“Reference laboratories account for the majority of current liquid biopsy users at 32.3 percent,” saidFrost & Sullivan Transformational Health Senior Industry Analyst Divyaa Ravishankar. “They will continue to be the dominant segment, accounting for 44.4 percent of the total number of future users over the next two years.”

Furthermore, 48 percent of future users intend to undertake full-scale adoption of liquid biopsy methods in the coming years. Most users believe liquid biopsies will soon function as an adjunct to tissue biopsies.

Future work groups show a strong preference for ctDNA, among the various biomarkers used for liquid biopsy. Most current work groups are also inclined towards ctDNA. Gradually, however, research institutes and universities will intensify focus on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs).

User groups already working with CTCs and ctDNA favor droplet polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or digital PCR over other methods of cell detection. Nevertheless, future user groups of these biomarkers may gravitate towards next generation sequencing.

“The shift from CTCs and ctDNA is partly due to the lack of clinical evidence needed to establish their efficacy and utility of mutation,” noted Ravishankar. “The tedious workflow surrounding the use of these biomarkers is also a serious challenge.”

Regardless of the biomarker used, blood is the most popular sample type among work groups. Additionally, these work groups give importance to plasma and tissue or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE).

Overall, users gave Qiagen and Life Technologies the highest rating and consider them the brands of choice for liquid biopsy. Other noteworthy brands include Fluidigm, Veridex, Guardant Health, BioRad, Rain Dance Technologies and Illumina.

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