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Circulating DNA levels predict non-small-cell lung cancer ou


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Circulating DNA levels predict non-small-cell lung cancer outcomes

Reuters Health

Posting Date: November 9, 2004

Last Updated: 2004-11-09 14:10:34 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, circulating cell-free DNA levels appear to predict survival.

A multicenter Swiss team, headed by Dr. Annemarie Ziegler of Zurich University Hospital, points out in the October 15th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology that while cancer patients are known to have elevated levels of circulating cell-free DNA, the clinical relevance of this finding has been unclear.

In 185 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and 46 healthy controls, the researchers quantified circulating DNA in paired plasma and serum samples, by means of real-time polymerase chain reaction.

While the investigators noted a strong correlation between serum DNA and leukocyte counts, the most significant prognostic potential was observed with plasma DNA levels. The authors found significant correlations between increased plasma DNA concentrations and elevated levels of lactate dehydrogenase, advanced tumor stage, and poor survival.

Furthermore, they report, "tumor progression after chemotherapy was significantly (p = .006) associated with increasing plasma DNA concentrations."

"In non-small-cell lung cancer patients, elevated plasma DNA concentration is a prognostic factor and indicates advanced disease stage, decreased survival, and tumor progression under therapy," Dr. Ziegler's group concludes.

If these findings are confirmed in larger trials, they suggest that "the quantification of plasma DNA might provide a means to discriminate individuals with more aggressive disease, which could aid in the choice of appropriate therapies."

J Clin Oncol 2004;22:4157-4164

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