NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,208 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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liquid biopsy
(LIH-kwid BY-op-see)
A test done on a sample 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 may be used to help find cancer at an early stage. It may also be used to help plan treatment or to find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come 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.