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Circulating Tumour DNA (ctDNA) Testing in Plasma

Aspect Liquid Biopsy is a new, non-invasive, safe and ultrasensitive cancer screening option which identifies genomic alterations from a simple blood test using the circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). Clinical Labs is proud to be the first Australian private laboratory to offer liquid biopsy, allowing oncologists to choose a targeted therapy, monitor treatment resistance and detect minimal residual disease, without patients undergoing an invasive procedure.

Benefits of liquid biopsy:

  • Liquid biopsy is less invasive
  • Liquid biopsy can identify therapeutic targets
  • ctDNA shows high concordance with solid tissue biopsies
  • ctDNA is a highly specific real time monitoring biomarker
  • ctDNA reflects the overall tumour information 
  • ctDNA detects early relapse
  • Liquid biopsy is the quality choice for monitoring tumour burden and therapeutic response
  • ctDNA detects minimal residual disease (MRD)

Why is Liquid Biopsy so important?

Early detection is the holy grail of cancer management. The biggest advantage of Aspect Liquid Biopsy is to detect the cancer biomarkers in blood earlier than conventional methods. It has been demonstrated that monitoring for tumour-derived DNA in the plasma can identify relapse or drug resistance well before clinical signs and symptoms appear, enabling earlier intervention and better outcomes.

Surgical tissue biopsies have some inherent shortcomings and risks, as well as not guaranteeing enough material collected for accurate analysis in clinical practice. Liquid biopsy provides a non-invasive alternative sample source, allowing the identification of genomic alterations that can be addressed by targeted therapy. This non-invasive type of liquid biopsy can be taken easily and repeatedly over the course of a patient’s treatment. ctDNA provides new insight into diagnosis, prognosis and patient follow-up compared to traditional tissue biopsy.

Over time, resistant clones may grow out of the tumour containing other variants that were not detected from the initial solid tissue biopsy which makes the information of the genetic makeup of the original tumour historical.

Aspect Liquid Biopsy enables the discovery of those new DNA markers in the blood in real-time, supporting the most effective treatment decisions.

In the future, instead of extensive imaging and invasive tissue biopsies, liquid biopsies could be used to guide cancer treatment decisions and perhaps even screen for tumours that are not yet visible on imaging.

At Clinical Labs we currently offer Aspect Liquid Biopsy testing for the below cancers (click the links for detailed information):




Aspect Liquid Biopsy Videos

View this short video to see how Aspect Liquid Biopsy works.

Watch our two educational modules on Aspect Liquid Biopsy, presented by the National Clinical Director of Molecular Genetic Pathology at Australian Clinical Labs, Associate Professor Mirette Saad.

Aspect Liquid Biopsy | Educational Module | Part 1 | Approx 17 mins

Aspect Liquid Biopsy | Educational Module | Part 2 | Approx 18 mins

Ordering Aspect Liquid Biopsy

When to Order: Health Practitioners can order liquid Biopsy for cancer patients any time during diagnosis or monitoring stages.
How to Order:
Health practitioners can order Aspect Liquid Biopsy for cancer patients using the Aspect Liquid Biopsy form.
Turnaround Time: 5–7 business days from the sample receipt date.
Specimen Required: This test requires TWO 10ml blood samples (special tubes), which can be taken at any of our collection centres.
Test Cost: No Medicare rebate available. An out-of-pocket fee of $550 applies.

Download Aspect Liquid Biopsy Doctor BrochureDownload Aspect Liquid Biopsy Patient Brochure

Download Aspect Liquid Biopsy Request Form


"A Personalised Medicine approach in cancer care is not new. What is new, however,
is our ability to predict cancer recurrence based on the differences between individuals
at molecular levels. This means that we can sub-group, or sub-stratify patients in
a more meaningful way, with the potential to modify therapeutic regimes to match
their individual genetic profile.”


Assoc. Prof. Mirette Saad

Lab: Clayton
Speciality: Chemical Pathology and Molecular Genetics
Areas Of Interest: Cancer Genetics, Antenatal Screening, NIPT, Endocrine, Fertility Testing and Research, Medical Teaching
Phone: 1300 134 111
Email: mirette.saad@clinicallabs.com.au

Associate Professor Mirette Saad is a Consultant Chemical Pathologist and the National Clinical Director of Molecular Genetic Pathology at Australian Clinical Labs. Associate Professor Saad obtained her fellowship in Chemical and Molecular Pathology with a clinical Microbiology sub-specialty in Egypt.

After several posts, she worked as a Medical Laboratory Director in private labs and as an Associate Professor and Examiner of Clinical Chemistry for postgraduate and undergraduate medical and nursing students at various institutions. Upon receiving the National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) Scholarship in 2006, Associate Professor Saad commenced her PhD studies at Melbourne University and Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Cancer Genetics. Associate Professor Saad undertook her specialty training at Healthscope Pathology (now Australian Clinical Labs) and Monash Health and obtained the Chemical Pathology Fellowship (FRCPA) and the Membership (MAACB) by examination from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) respectively.

She is currently a member of the Chemical Pathology Advisory Committee at RCPA. At Clinical Labs, A/P Saad supervises the antenatal screening program including combined First Trimester Screening and Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) along with the Molecular Genetic testing for hereditary disorders, personalised drug therapy and cancer.

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