Published online Aug 28, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i32.7175
Peer-review started: April 27, 2016
First decision: May 30, 2016
Revised: June 10, 2016
Accepted: July 6, 2016
Article in press: July 6, 2016
Published online: August 28, 2016
Core tip: Pancreatic cancer is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat. Persistently poor outcomes mean that new biomarkers of disease and treatments are required. Circulating tumour cells and circulating tumour DNA have been investigated as liquid biopsies in pancreatic cancer. Sensitivity is variable but specificity promising. The most effective platform and most informative biomarkers are yet to be identified. There are many potential roles for this technology in the management of patients with pancreatic cancer, including screening, diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of treatment efficacy; however based on current available evidence they are not yet ready for routine clinical practice.