An evaluation of current prostate cancer diagnostic approaches with emphasis on liquid biopsies and prostate cancer

Veronica Mollica, Vincenzo Di Nunno, Matteo Santoni, Alessia Cimadamore, Marina Scarpelli, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Liang Cheng, Cinzia Mariani, Nicola Battelli, Rodolfo Montironi, Francesco Massari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Knowledge of the complex biology of prostate cancer is constantly growing, opening the field up to new therapeutic advances. The selection of patients on the basis of prognostic and predictive biomarkers is a challenging and emerging clinical need, not yet completely fulfilled. In this scenario, liquid biopsy offers a noninvasive and attractive approach to give important information about tumor biology and eventual resistance to treatments. Areas covered: The aim of this review of the literature is to evaluate the current knowledge and the promising value of liquid biopsy in prostate cancer. Circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA identified by liquid biopsies are currently under evaluation to guide therapeutic decisions in prostate cancer management, even though practical applications of these approaches are still very limited. We examined the current areas of interest in which circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA are being investigated, such as their prognostic and predictive role in response to chemotherapy or androgen receptor signaling inhibition, especially in the castration-resistant setting. Expert opinion: As the body of knowledge on liquid biopsy rapidly grows, we need to identify which can be the real applications of this technique in clinical practice and to overcome the problems that are limiting its routinely use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020



  • Cell free DNA (cfDNA)
  • castration resistant prostate cancer
  • circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)
  • circulating tumor cell (CTC)
  • liquid biopsy
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Mollica, V., Di Nunno, V., Santoni, M., Cimadamore, A., Scarpelli, M., Lopez-Beltran, A., Cheng, L., Mariani, C., Battelli, N., Montironi, R., & Massari, F. (2020). An evaluation of current prostate cancer diagnostic approaches with emphasis on liquid biopsies and prostate cancer. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 20(2), 207-217.