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Biomed Pharmacother. 2012 Mar;66(2):131-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2011.11.022. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

Can plasma DNA monitoring be employed in personalized chemotherapy for patients with advanced lung cancer?

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.


Personalized chemotherapy is the ideal treatment usually chosen to help improve the survival chances of patients with advanced lung cancer. However, there is no short-term evaluation protocol for predicting the efficacy of the therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the value of using plasma DNA to monitor chemotherapeutic efficacy and to select most appropriate chemotherapeutic regimen for patients with advanced lung cancer. Eighty-eight lung cancer patients and 200 healthy controls were included in this study. Plasma DNA was extracted from plasma samples with internal controls by using the BILATEST DNA Kit. The quantity of plasma DNA was determined by using duplex real-time quantitative PCR. After first-line chemotherapy, plasma DNA levels of partial response patients were significantly different from those of stable disease patients or progressive disease patients, but with no statistical difference from healthy controls (P=0.014, P<0.001 and P=0.418, respectively). Survival analysis showed a statistically better survival time in patients who had lower levels of plasma DNA after the third cycle chemotherapy (P=0.031). In this study, the correlation of the kinetics of DNA concentrations with chemotherapeutic efficacy during the whole therapy was also observed. The quantification of plasma DNA is a sensitive indicator of chemotherapeutic efficacy in advanced lung cancer patients, and it can be useful in predicting response to therapy and guiding medication.

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