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Eur Urol. 2002 Jun;41(6):668-76.

DNA alterations in body fluids as molecular tumor markers for urological malignancies.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Benjamin Franklin Medical School, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany. carsten.goessl@pharm.novartis.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

DNA-based tumor markers are characterized by unique specificity rendering them an attractive target for molecular diagnosis of cancer in body fluids like blood serum/plasma and urine. Both cell-free tumor DNA circulating in plasma/serum and cellular tumor DNA are detectable by minimally invasive measures.

METHODS:

Three main detection methods, microsatellite analysis, mutation analysis in genomic or mitochondrial DNA and gene promoter hypermethylation analysis are applied. Detection of gene promoter hypermethylation by methylation-specific PCR enables the best methodical sensitivity requiring a ratio of tumor DNA within normal DNA of less than 1:1000.

RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS:

Tumor DNA derived from renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer or prostate cancer is detectable in considerably more than 50% of plasma/serum samples and more than 70% of urine samples from these patients. Because the targeted DNA alterations are absent or very rare in controls, the specificity of DNA-based tumor detection methods reaches almost 100%. Although the methodology currently is experimental, automatization will make it easier and less expensive. This review is focused on the potential clinical value of DNA-based analysis of body fluids for the initial diagnosis and the follow-up of urologic cancer patients.

PMID:
12074786
DOI:
10.1016/s0302-2838(02)00126-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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