Progress toward liquid biopsies in pediatric solid tumors

Daniel A. Weiser, Diana C. West-Szymanski, Ellen Fraint, Shoshana Weiner, Marco A. Rivas, Carolyn W.T. Zhao, Chuan He, Mark A. Applebaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Pediatric solid tumors have long been known to shed tumor cells, DNA, RNA, and proteins into the blood. Recent technological advances have allowed for improved capture and analysis of these typically scant circulating materials. Efforts are ongoing to develop “liquid biopsy” assays as minimally invasive tools to address diagnostic, prognostic, and disease monitoring needs in childhood cancer care. Applying these highly sensitive technologies to serial liquid biopsies is expected to advance understanding of tumor biology, heterogeneity, and evolution over the course of therapy, thus opening new avenues for personalized therapy. In this review, we outline the latest technologies available for liquid biopsies and describe the methods, pitfalls, and benefits of the assays that are being developed for children with extracranial solid tumors. We discuss what has been learned in several of the most common pediatric solid tumors including neuroblastoma, sarcoma, Wilms tumor, and hepatoblastoma and highlight promising future directions for the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-571
Number of pages19
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Cell-free DNA
  • Epigenetics
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Pediatric solid tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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