Cell-free DNA and next-generation sequencing in the service of personalized medicine for lung cancer

Catherine W. Bennett, Guy Berchem, Yeoun Jin Kim and Victoria El-Khoury _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:71013-71035. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11717

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Catherine W. Bennett1, Guy Berchem1,2, Yeoun Jin Kim1 and Victoria El-Khoury1

1 Department of Oncology, Luxembourg Institute of Health, L-1526 Luxembourg, Luxembourg

2 Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, L-1210 Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Correspondence to:

Victoria El-Khoury , email:

Keywords: lung cancer, cell-free DNA, next-generation sequencing, personalized medicine, biomarkers

Received: March 14, 2016 Accepted: August 11, 2016 Published: August 30, 2016


Personalized medicine has emerged as the future of cancer care to ensure that patients receive individualized treatment specific to their needs. In order to provide such care, molecular techniques that enable oncologists to diagnose, treat, and monitor tumors are necessary. In the field of lung cancer, cell free DNA (cfDNA) shows great potential as a less invasive liquid biopsy technique, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a promising tool for analysis of tumor mutations. In this review, we outline the evolution of cfDNA and NGS and discuss the progress of using them in a clinical setting for patients with lung cancer. We also present an analysis of the role of cfDNA as a liquid biopsy technique and NGS as an analytical tool in studying EGFR and MET, two frequently mutated genes in lung cancer. Ultimately, we hope that using cfDNA and NGS for cancer diagnosis and treatment will become standard for patients with lung cancer and across the field of oncology.

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