Research Papers:

Efficacy of assessing circulating cell-free DNA using a simple fluorescence assay in patients with triple-negative breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy: a prospective observational study

Kwonoh Park, Miyoung Woo, Jeong Eun Kim, Jin-Hee Ahn, Kyung Hae Jung, Jin Roh, Gyungyub Gong and Sung-Bae Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:3875-3886. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23520

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Kwonoh Park1,2, Miyoung Woo1, Jeong Eun Kim1, Jin-Hee Ahn1, Kyung Hae Jung1, Jin Roh3, Gyungyub Gong3 and Sung-Bae Kim1

1Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Medical Oncology and Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan-si, Republic of Korea

3Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Sung-Bae Kim, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cell-free DNA; fluorescence assay; triple-negative breast cancer; neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Received: July 03, 2017     Accepted: November 15, 2017     Published: December 21, 2017


This study aims to assess cell-free DNA (CFD) by a fluorescence assay as a biomarker for early prediction of a pathologic complete response (pCR) and relapse in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with clinical stage II or III TNBC scheduled for neoadjuvant chemotherapy were prospectively enrolled. All patients underwent four cycles of Adriamycin plus cyclophosphamide (AC), followed by four cycles of cisplatin or docetaxel chemotherapy and surgery. Blood samples were obtained before the initial chemotherapy (baseline-CFD) and after four AC neoadjuvant chemotherapy cycles (AC-CFD) to evaluate CFD levels. In total, 72 patients who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled. The mean baseline-CFD and AC-CFD levels were 239 ± 68 and 210 ± 66 ng/mL, respectively, with a significant decline in the CFD levels after AC neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.001). In the 33.6-month median follow-up, 18 cases of relapse were reported. A ROC curve analysis of baseline-CFD was performed to determine the predictive value for relapse, and an area under the curve of 0.62 (95% CI, 0.46–0.78) at 264 ng/mL was obtained. Patients with baseline-CFD >264 ng/mL were at a higher risk of relapse than those with baseline-CFD ≤264 ng/mL (HR, 2.84; 95% CI, 1.11–7.24; P = 0.029). Multivariate analysis established baseline-CFD as an independent predicting factor for relapse (HR, 3.74; 95% CI, 1.32–10.53; P = 0.013). In conclusion, baseline-CFD measured by a fluorescence assay might be a potential biomarker to predict relapse, which could be useful for risk stratification of TNBC.

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