The Clinical Utility of Droplet Digital PCR for Profiling Circulating Tumor DNA in Breast Cancer Patients

Ugur Gezer, Abel J. Bronkhorst, Stefan Holdenrieder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. It is a malignant and heterogeneous disease with distinct molecular subtypes, which has prognostic and predictive implications. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), cell-free fragmented tumor-derived DNA in blood plasma, is an invaluable source of specific cancer-associated mutations and holds great promise for the development of minimally invasive diagnostic tests. Furthermore, serial monitoring of ctDNA over the course of systemic and targeted therapies not only allows unparalleled efficacy assessments but also enables the identification of patients who are at risk of progression or recurrence. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) is a powerful technique for the detection and monitoring of ctDNA. Due to its relatively high accuracy, sensitivity, reproducibility, and capacity for absolute quantification, it is increasingly used as a tool for managing cancer patients through liquid biopsies. In this review paper, we gauge the clinical utility of ddPCR as a technique for mutational profiling in breast cancer patients and focus on HER2, PIK3CA, ESR1, and TP53, which represent the most frequently mutated genes in breast cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3042
JournalDiagnostics
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • cell-free DNA
  • circulating tumor DNA
  • digital PCR
  • mutation

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