Detection of cancer DNA in early stage and metastatic breast cancer patients

Arielle J. Medford, Riaz N. Gillani, Ben Ho Park

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer-related death. There are many subtypes of breast cancer, which can be identified through the process of molecular and genetic profiling. While the current standard of care utilizes tumor tissue biopsy to subclassify breast cancer, plasma tumor DNA (ptDNA) can be detected through droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) of plasma obtained from a simple blood draw. Tissue biopsy is not only more invasive but because tumors exhibit heterogeneity it can be less accurate. Blood collects DNA shed from normal and cancerous cells alike, thus ddPCR of plasma offers a broader picture of a cancer’s genetic makeup. This chapter summarizes how patients with breast cancer can be screened for specific cancerous mutations in both tissue and plasma through the use of ddPCR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Biopsy
  • Blood
  • Breast cancer
  • Droplet digital
  • Liquid biopsy
  • PCR
  • PIK3CA
  • Plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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