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Assays & screens

Assay to detect circulating methylated DNA (cMethDNA) to detect and monitor breast cancer

In vitro studies suggest a cMethDNA assay could help detect and monitor tumor burden. The cMethDNA assay amplifies and measures methylation of 10 genes with low methylation in normal cells but high methylation in breast cancer cells. The assay detected cancer with 96.4% specificity and 91.7% sensitivity in a set of 24 cancer and 28 normal samples, and results were validated in an additional 33 cancer and 27 normal samples. In samples from patients who responded to chemotherapy, cMethDNA levels were lower than those in samples from patients who had progressive disease. Next steps include validating clinical utility to monitor response to chemotherapy over time.

SciBX 7(20); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.594
Published online May 22, 2014

Covered by issued and filed patents; available for licensing

Fackler, M.J. et al. Cancer Res.; published online April 15, 2014;
Contact: Saraswati Sukumar, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.