Impact of Cell-Debris and Room-Temperature Storage on Urine Circulating Tumor DNA from Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Amy K. Kim, Selena Y. Lin, Zhili Wang, Harry Luu, James P. Hamilton, Wei Song, Ying Hsiu Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the impact of cell debris and 7-day room temperature storage on the quality and yield of transrenal DNA. Archived urine specimens collected from five hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and two pregnant women carrying male fetuses were used to assess the impact of cell debris on urine cell-free DNA (ucfDNA) isolation as measured by quantitative PCR for Y-chromosome DNA, or HCC-associated mutation and methylation markers, and by capillary electrophoresis. Prospectively collected urine from 21 HCC patients was aliquoted after collection for paired immediate freezing versus 7-day room temperature storage followed by freezing for further analysis. Cell debris contained more Y-chromosome DNA than supernatant in three of the six urine specimens tested from pregnant women, suggesting that cell debris can be associated with 20.6% to 84.9% of transrenal ucfDNA. Ninety-five percent (20 of 21) of frozen and room temperature urine pairs had overlapping DNA size distribution. ucfDNA quantity determined by quantitative PCR for TP53, CTNNB1, TERT, and HCC-associated urine circulating tumor DNA markers were statistically similar between room temperature and frozen samples. This suggests no significant difference in DNA degradation between the groups. The association of transrenal ucfDNA with cell debris and HCC circulating DNA stability at room temperature is significant to further the understanding of transrenal circulating tumor DNA pre-analytical handling for HCC screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-920
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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