The use of liquid biopsy on the blood from solid malignancies provides a convenient way of detecting actionable mutations, monitoring treatment response, detecting early recurrence and prognosticating outcomes. The aim of this review is to discuss the current status and future direction of serum biomarkers in the clinical management of urinary bladder cancer.

This review provides an overview of blood liquid biopsy and bladder cancer using methods of circulating tumors cells, circulating RNA, serum metabolites and cell free DNA. Recent clinical studies and advances in methodology are emphasized. We performed a literature search using PMC/PubMed with keywords including “liquid biopsy”, “circulating tumor DNA”, “cell free DNA”, “biomarkers”, “bladder cancer” “precision medicine”. Additional articles were obtained from the cited references of key articles. An emphasis was placed on recent studies published since 2018.

Liquid biopsies represent a potential biomarker using cell free DNA, metabolomic profiles of altered cellular metabolism, circulating cancer cells and RNA. Despite displaying tremendous clinical promise, the current status of the blood liquid biopsies has not reached fruition. However, future investigations should lead the evolution of liquid biomarker into clinical utility for management of bladder cancer.

Expert review of molecular diagnostics. 2019 Oct 12 [Epub ahead of print]

Erik Kouba, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Rodolfo Montironi, Francesco Massari, Kun Huang, Matteo Santoni, Michal Chovanec, Michael Cheng, Marina Scarpelli, Jie Zhang, Alessia Cimadamore, Liang Cheng

Associated Pathologists at Medical Center of Central Georgia , Georgia USA., Department of Pathology and Surgery, Faculty of Medicine , Cordoba , Spain., Section of Pathological Anatomy, Polytechnic University of the Marche Region, School of Medicine, United Hospitals , Ancona , Italy., Division of Oncology, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital , Bologna , Italy., Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine , Indianapolis , IN , USA., Oncology Unit, Macerata Hospital , Macerata , Italy., 2nd Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University and National Cancer Institute , Bratislava , Slovakia., Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics., Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.