Liquid biopsy in germ cell tumors: biology and clinical management

Michal Chovanec, Katarina Kalavska, Michal Mego, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Liquid biopsy is an increasingly studied approach for optimal and minimally invasive diagnostics of malignant tumors. The aim of this review is to provide evidence and discuss the utility of liquid biopsy in the management of germ cell tumors (GCTs). Areas covered: Herein, we summarize the evidence on liquid biopsy in GCTs including serum tumor markers, circulating tumor cells, microRNA and cell-free DNA. The search of literature was conducted from Pubmed/Medline, ASCO-meeting library searching for terms ‘liquid biopsy’, ‘germ cell tumors’, ‘circulating tumor cells’, ‘microRNA’, ‘cell-free DNA’. Obtained original studies were included. Reference lists of review articles and key original articles were searched for additional original studies. We included articles published between1990 and 2019. Expert opinion: Liquid biopsy is a minimally invasive tool using body fluids for diagnostic purposes in cancer. The established value of serum tumor markers may be already considered a liquid biopsy technique in diagnosis of GCTs. Possible near-future refinements in diagnosis of GCTs are emerging. Further information on diagnosis, prognosis and resistance is added with recently described microRNAs, circulating tumor cells and cell-free DNA. While great promise is shown, further large-scale validation is needed to incorporate these novel liquid biopsies into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Liquid biopsy
  • biomarker
  • cell-free DNA
  • circulating tumor cells
  • germ cell tumors
  • microRNA
  • testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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