Clinical Application of Liquid Biopsy in Pancreatic Cancer: A Narrative Review

Elena Ramírez-Maldonado, Sandra López Gordo, Rui Pedro Major Branco, Mihai Calin Pavel, Laia Estalella, Erik Llàcer-Millán, María Alejandra Guerrero, Estrella López-Gordo, Robert Memba, Rosa Jorba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma contributes significantly to global cancer-related deaths, featuring only a 10% survival rate over five years. The quest for novel tumor markers is critical to facilitate early diagnosis and tailor treatment strategies for this disease, which is key to improving patient outcomes. In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, these markers have been demonstrated to play a crucial role in early identification, continuous monitoring, and prediction of its prognosis and have led to better patient outcomes. Nowadays, biopsy specimens serve to ascertain diagnosis and determine tumor type. However, liquid biopsies present distinct advantages over conventional biopsy techniques. They offer a noninvasive, easily administered procedure, delivering insights into the tumor’s status and facilitating real-time monitoring. Liquid biopsies encompass a variety of elements, such as circulating tumor cells, circulating tumor DNA, extracellular vesicles, microRNAs, circulating RNA, tumor platelets, and tumor endothelial cells. This review aims to provide an overview of the clinical applications of liquid biopsy as a technique in the management of pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1640
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • circulating free tumor DNA
  • circulating tumor cells
  • circulating tumor DNA
  • extracellular vesicles
  • liquid biopsy
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma


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