UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular Cell and Cancer Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine

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Cancer Biology | Diagnosis | Neoplasms | Oncology


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the diagnostic value of cell free DNA (cfDNA) for breast cancer.

RESULTS: Among 308 candidate articles, 25 with relevant diagnostic screening qualified for final analysis. The mean sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve (AUC) of SROC plots for 24 studies that distinguished breast cancer patients from healthy controls were 0.70, 0.87, and 0.9314, yielding a DOR of 32.31. When analyzed in subgroups, the 14 quantitative studies produced sensitivity, specificity, AUC, and a DOR of 0.78, 0.83, 0.9116, and 24.40. The 10 qualitative studies produced 0.50, 0.98, 0.9919, and 68.45. For 8 studies that distinguished malignant breast cancer from benign diseases, the specificity, sensitivity, AUC and DOR were 0.75, 0.79, 0.8213, and 9.49. No covariate factors had a significant correlation with relative DOR. Deek's funnel plots indicated an absence of publication bias.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Databases were searched for studies involving the use of cfDNA to diagnose breast cancer. The studies were analyzed to determine sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, diagnostic odds ratio (DOR), and the summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC). Covariates were evaluated for effect on relative DOR. Deek's Funnel plots were generated to measure publication bias.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis suggests a promising diagnostic potential of using cfDNA for breast cancer screening, but this diagnostic method is not yet independently sufficient. Further work refining qualitative cfDNA assays will improve the correct diagnosis of breast cancers.


Accuracy, breast cancer, cell-free DNA, diagnosis, meta-analysis

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Copyright : © 2017 Lin et al.

DOI of Published Version



Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 18;8(16):26625-26636. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.15775. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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