Author Affiliations: Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Drs Simpson and Bischoff) and Molecular and Human Genetics (Dr Simpson), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.
In this issue of THE JOURNAL, the findings reported in the study by
Dhallan and colleagues1 on enhancing recovery
of cell-free DNA in maternal blood have major clinical implications. Developing
a reliable, transportable technology for cell-free DNA analysis impacts 2
crucial areas—prenatal genetic diagnosis and cancer detection and surveillance.
In prenatal genetic diagnosis, detecting a fetal abnormality without an invasive
procedure (or with fewer invasive procedures) is a major advantage. Likewise
in cancer surveillance (eg, in patients with leukemia), monitoring treatment
without having to perform a bone marrow aspiration for karyotype also would
be of great benefit.
Simpson JL, Bischoff F. Cell-Free Fetal DNA in Maternal BloodEvolving Clinical Applications. JAMA. 2004;291(9):1135-1137. doi:10.1001/jama.291.9.1135