International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Cell free DNA – A novel biomarker in the field of oncology: A comparative account in the cancer patients and healthy residents of Karachi city

By: Mohammad Attaullah, Masarrat J. Yousuf, Saifullah Afridi, Islam Dad, Muhammad Amin, Syed Ishtiaq Anjum, Rooh Ullah

Key Words: Cell free DNA, Serum, Cancer, Biomarker, Nano drop analyzer, Circulating DNA

Int. J. Biosci. 9(4), 356-364, October 2016.



The present study was carried out to ascertain the levels of cell free DNA (cf-DNA) in the serum samples of diagnosed cancer patients having various malignancies and healthy residents of Karachi City. Collection of blood samples was carried out with informed consent from diagnosed cancer patients and healthy human subjects at various hospitals of Karachi City. Serum was isolated and analyzed for cf-DNA with genomic DNA isolation accompanied with Isoamyl-Phenol-Chloroform purification. Positive percentage of cf-DNA was found to be 36.84% (14/38 samples) in the healthy subjects and 56.45% (35/62 samples) in the cancer patients. The detected mean level of cf-DNA in the control and cancer group was found to be 1758.8ng/mL and 5584.27ng/┬Ál respectively. Significantly elevated levels of cf-DNA were detected in the cancer cases compared with the healthy subjects. Cancer cases of the oral cavity and pharynx and breast cancer generally were having higher mean cf-DNA concentrations followed by blood cancer cases. Higher serum cf-DNA levels in the cancer cases compared with the healthy subjects is associated with the level of damage caused to nuclear DNA in various malignancies. A simple cost-effective blood test for the application of novel cancer biomarker (cf-DNA) will assist clinicians to implement therapeutics in an efficient and effective way for the diagnosis, staging and prognosis of various cancers during cancer management.


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