Circulating tumor DNA in B-cell lymphoma: technical advances, clinical applications, and perspectives for translational research.
Noninvasive disease monitoring and risk stratification by circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) profiling has become a potential novel strategy for patient management in B-cell lymphoma. Emerging innovative therapeutic options and an unprecedented growth in our understanding of biological and molecular factors underlying lymphoma heterogeneity have fundamentally increased the need for precision-based tools facilitating personalized and accurate disease profiling and quantification. By capturing the entire mutational landscape of tumors, ctDNA assessment has some decisive advantages over conventional tissue biopsies, which usually target only one single tumor site. Due to its non- or minimal-invasive nature, serial and repeated ctDNA profiling provides a real-time picture of the genetic composition and facilitates quantification of tumor burden any time during the course of the disease. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of technologies used for ctDNA detection and genotyping in B-cell lymphoma, focusing on pre-analytical and technical requirements, the advantages and limitations of various approaches, and highlight recent advances around improving sensitivity and suppressing technical errors. We broadly review potential applications of ctDNA in clinical practice and for translational research by describing how ctDNA might enhance lymphoma subtype classification, treatment response assessment, outcome prediction, and monitoring of measurable residual disease. We finally discuss how ctDNA could be implemented in prospective clinical trials as a novel surrogate endpoint and be utilized as a decision-making tool to guide lymphoma treatment in the future.