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BioTechniques the international journal of life science methods Protocol guide
Liquid biopsies are a minimally invasive method to diagnose and longitudinally monitor tumor mutations in patients when tissue biopsies are difficult (e.g., in lung cancer). The percentage of cell-free tumor DNA in blood plasma ranges from more than 65% to 0.1% or lower. To reliably diagnose tumor mutations at 0.1%, there are two options: unrealistically large volumes of patient blood or library preparation and sequencing depth optimized to low-input DNA. Here, we assess two library preparation methods and analysis workflows to determine feasibility and reliability based on standards with known allelic frequency (0 and 0.13% in <i>PIK3CA</i>). However, the implementation for patients is still costly and requires elaborate setups.