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Table 1 Tumour-related components characteristics and potentialities

From: The value of cell-free circulating tumour DNA profiling in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) management

Components Characteristics and potential applications
CTC Cells found in the blood of patients with solid tumours
Surrogate marker for tumour growth and aggressiveness
Genomic analysis
Exosomes Cell-derived extracellular vesicles containing proteins, DNA, mRNAs, and miRNAs
Biomarker analysis
Potential therapeutic application
Circulating RNAs miRNAs are the most abundant circulating RNA molecules
miRNAs amount and composition differ between cancer and non-cancer landscape and correlates with that of solid tumours
Potential early diagnosis biomarker
ctDNA Tumour-derived fragmented DNA in the bloodstream that is not associated with cells
Detection of oncogenic mutations, prognostic biomarker, tumour burden and minimal residual detection
ctDNA methylation profiles
Tumour educated Platelets (TEPs) TEPs may offer certain advantages over other blood-based biosources, including their abundance and easy isolation, high-quality RNA, and capacity to process RNA in response to external signals
Different RNA profiles in platelets from cancer patients and healthy individuals
Proteins Protein/proteome profile as a biomarker for cancer detection; predictive and prognostic biomarkers
  1. CTC circulating tumour cell, ctDNA circulating tumour DNA, mRNA messenger RNA, miRNAS microRNAs