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Technology Spotlight
June 2017

Genomic Analysis of Plasma Cell-Free DNA in Patients With Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Center for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(6):740-741. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.2835

The increased importance of cancer genotyping in guiding cancer treatment has created a need for efficient methods for genomic analysis of patients’ cancers. This increased dependence on DNA-based tumor genotyping assays (eg, sequencing, polymerase chain reaction [PCR], fluorescence in situ hybridization [FISH]) has triggered a growing interest in the analysis of free-floating DNA present in the blood of patients with cancer—plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Sensitive PCR techniques together with high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have evolved to a point where genetic analysis of cfDNA is possible.

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