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Cancer Radiother. 2017 Oct;21(6-7):554-556. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2017.08.105. Epub 2017 Aug 25.

Tumour-derived plasma cell-free DNA in patients with head and neck cancer: A short review.

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Department of radiotherapy radiooncology, Universität Göttingen, Robert Koch Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany. Electronic address:


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality worldwide. The prognosis for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma has not substantially improved during the last decades, despite numerous advancements in treatment options. Reliable markers for early tumour detection and treatment response, which complement clinical examinations, imaging techniques, and biopsies would be extremely useful. One fairly new and promising method is the analysis of tumour-derived cell-free DNA (ctDNA) in the plasma of cancer patients. First data indicate that this method may assist, in the future, in the early detection of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the real-time monitoring of the disease course, the therapy response, and the prediction of prognosis with direct therapeutic implications by determining the best therapeutic modality for patient care.


Cancers ORL; DNA circulant; Head and neck cancer; Radiotherapy; Tumour-derived cell-free DNA

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