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Liquid biomarkers in prostate cancer: recent advancements and future directions.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Traditional diagnostic approaches of prostate cancer like PSA are limited by high false-positive rates and insufficient capture of tumour heterogeneity, necessitating the development of more precise tools. This review examines the latest advancements in liquid biomarkers for prostate cancer, focusing on their potential to refine diagnostic accuracy and monitor disease progression.

RECENT FINDINGS: Liquid biomarkers have gained prominence because of their minimally invasive nature and ability to reflect the molecular characteristics of prostate cancer. Circulating tumour cells provide insight into tumour cell dissemination and are indicative of aggressive disease phenotypes, with single-cell analyses revealing genomic instability and treatment resistance. Circulating tumour DNA offers real-time tumour genomic information, aiding in treatment decision-making in advanced prostate cancer, where it has been associated with clinical progression. MicroRNAs act as oncogenes or tumour suppressors and exhibit diagnostic and prognostic potential; however, their clinical utility is constrained by the lack of consistent validation. Extracellular vesicles contain tumour-derived biomolecules, with specific proteins demonstrating prognostic relevance. Applications of these markers to urinary testing have been demonstrated.

SUMMARY: Liquid biomarkers show potential in refining prostate cancer management. Future research should aim to integrate these biomarkers into a cohesive framework in line with precision medicine principles.

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