Liquid biopsies in patients with diffuse glioma

Myron G. Best, Nik Sol, Sebastiaan Zijl, Jaap C. Reijneveld, Pieter Wesseling, Thomas Wurdinger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Diffuse gliomas are the most common malignant primary tumors of the central nervous system. Like other neoplasms, these gliomas release molecular information into the circulation. Tumor-derived biomarkers include proteins, nucleic acids, and tumor-derived extracellular vesicles that accumulate in plasma, serum, blood platelets, urine and/or cerebrospinal fluid. Recently, also circulating tumor cells have been identified in the blood of glioma patients. Circulating molecules, vesicles, platelets, and cells may be useful as easily accessible diagnostic, prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers to guide patient management. Thereby, this approach may help to circumvent problems related to tumor heterogeneity and sampling error at the time of diagnosis. Also, liquid biopsies may allow for serial monitoring of treatment responses and of changes in the molecular characteristics of gliomas over time. In this review, we summarize the literature on blood-based biomarkers and their potential value for improving the management of patients with a diffuse glioma. Incorporation of the study of circulating molecular biomarkers in clinical trials is essential for further assessment of the potential of liquid biopsies in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1399
Pages (from-to)849-865
Number of pages17
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2015


  • Liquid biopsies
  • Malignant glioma
  • Minimally invasive biomarkers
  • Molecular diagnostics


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