Methodological variables in the analysis of cell-free DNA
Bronkhorst, Abel Jacobus
Pretorius, Piet J.
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In recent years, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) analysis has received increasing amounts of attention as a potential non-invasive screening tool for the early detection of genetic aberrations and a wide variety of diseases, especially cancer. However, except for some prenatal tests and BEAMing, a technique used to detect mutations in various genes of cancer patients, cfDNA analysis is not yet routinely applied in clinical practice. Although some confusing biological factors inherent to the in vivo setting play a key part, it is becoming increasingly clear that this struggle is mainly due to the lack of an analytical consensus, especially as regards quantitative analyses of cfDNA. In order to use quantitative analysis of cfDNA with confidence, process optimization and standardization are crucial. In this work we aim to elucidate the most confounding variables of each preanalytical step that must be considered for process optimization and equivalence of procedures