Breast cancer represents a heterogeneous collection of diseases with different biological characteristics and clinical outcomes. Recent advances in massively parallel sequencing technologies have enabled the genomic characterization of driver genes and actionable mutations in breast tumors in addition to establishing a refined classification of breast cancers that integrates genomics and transcriptomics. In the era of ‘Precision Medicine’, unravelling this inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity is paramount for understanding the biology of the disease and providing molecular information to tailor the therapeutic management of patients. Efforts in this direction include massively parallel sequencing of single cells and minimally invasive approaches to characterize cancer mutations in blood and other biological fluids.
A sample test of blood to look for cancer cells from a tumor that are circulating in the blood or for pieces of DNA from tumor cells that are in the blood. A liquid biopsy is used to find cancer at an early stage. It is also used to help plan treatment or to find out how well the treatment is working or if cancer is growing back. Being able to take multiple samples of blood over time may also help doctors understand what kind of molecular changes are taking place in a tumor. Researchers are trying to figure out for years for improved ways to find out if a person has cancer and to find it early when it is most curable. They want a test that’s easier on patients and faster for doctors. One idea that’s gaining ground is called a liquid biopsy. A biopsy is a sample of tissue or cells taken from almost any part of the body and sent to a lab to check for cancer and the liquid in this case is your blood.
The global breast cancer liquid biopsy market is projected to reach USD 421.1 million by 2022 from USD 147.4 million in 2017, at a CAGR of 22.1%.
Factors such as rising prevalence of breast cancer, growing preference for noninvasive procedures, initiatives undertaken by government and global health organizations, technological developments to augment market revenues, increasing emphasis on personalized medicine in clinical practice, and increased funding for liquid biopsy research and development are driving the growth of the breast cancer liquid biopsy market.
On the basis of circulating biomarkers, the market is divided into circulating tumor cells (CTCs), cell-free DNA (cfDNA), extracellular vesicles (EVs), and other circulating biomarkers. The cfDNA division is the largest and fastest growing division in the circulating biomarkers market. The increasing research on cfDNA owing to its occurrence in other body fluids along with the blood of cancer patients and the real-time results obtained by the analysis of cfDNA are the major factors contributing to the growth of cfDNA in the breast cancer liquid biopsy market.
Based on end user, the breast cancer liquid biopsy market is segmented into reference laboratories, hospitals and physician laboratories, and others like research institutes, public health laboratories, pathology laboratories, and small molecular laboratories. In 2017, the reference laboratories segment accounted for the largest share of the breast cancer liquid biopsy market. The large share is attributed to the availability of advanced genetic testing equipment leading to an increased volume of liquid biopsy test samples outsourced to reference laboratories.
Current Market Situation for Liquid Biopsy
Geographically, the global breast cancer liquid biopsy market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World. In 2022, North America is expected to dominate the market which can be attributed to the ease of accessibility and high adoption of advanced diagnostic technologies (such as PCR and NGS) among healthcare professionals. The APAC region is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Growth in this market can be attributed to a number of factors such as rising disposable incomes in the middle-class population, infrastructural developments, rising penetration of cutting-edge diagnostic technologies, the growing focus of global life science companies in this region, government initiatives to increase awareness about genome-based diagnostic procedures, and the increasing incidence of breast cancer. However, low awareness on molecular testing, and lack of skilled diagnostics technicians restraints the market growth in APAC.