Circulating cell-free DNA and other molecular markers in liquid biopsies can revolutionize how we can early diagnose or follow treatment of many diseases with minimal burden for patients.
Dead cancer cells, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and other diseases leave minute molecular traces in various body fluids. Rapid development in molecular techniques and computer science therefore hold the key to minimally invasive (early) diagnostics, disease monitoring, and prediction of patient’s outcome. So no biopsy needed, but certainly no free lunch as the challenge is to recognise useful patterns in loads of complex and noisy data.
Convergence Health & Technology has recognized the importance, in a timely manner, of this new research field, requiring strong interdisciplinary collaboration – combining bioinformatics expertise for algorithmic analysis via machine learning and deep learning with medical expertise for disease insights, as well as data samples from clinical trials and biological expertise for fundamental (sub)cellular expertise.
We integrate diverse data types – e.g., (epi)genomics, proteomics, biomarkers – to boost the predictive power of our models, answering questions such as ‘Does this person have early-stage disease?’ and ‘Was the medical intervention successful or is additional treatment indicated?’. Though many outstanding challenges remain, liquid biopsies taken by sampling body fluids are a revolutionary, realistic, and feasible technology for non-invasive prognostics, diagnostics, and medical decision support.