The application of next-generation sequencing in clinical practice is increasing as accuracy and interpretation have improved and the cost continues to decline rapidly. Cell-free DNA is a unique source for next-generation sequencing that could change routine clinical practice in gastroenterology and hepatology. Testing of cell-free DNA in blood and fecal samples is an easy, rapid, and noninvasive method to assess for premalignant, malignant, metabolic, infectious, inflammatory, and autoimmune gastrointestinal and liver diseases. In this review, we describe cell-free DNA technologies, current applications of cell-free DNA testing, and proposed cell-free DNA targets for gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases, with a specific focus on malignancy. In addition, we provide commentary on how cell-free DNA can be integrated into clinical practice and help guide diagnosis, prognosis, disease management, and therapeutic response.
- cell-free DNA
- gastroenterology and hepatology
- individualized medicine
ASJC Scopus subject areas