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Potential clinical applications of circulating cell-free DNA in ovarian cancer patients

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 December 2018

Ana Barbosa
Cancer Genetics Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto, Portugal
Ana Peixoto
Department of Genetics, Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto, Portugal
Pedro Pinto
Cancer Genetics Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto, Portugal
Manuela Pinheiro
Cancer Genetics Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto, Portugal
Manuel R. Teixeira
Cancer Genetics Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto, Portugal Department of Genetics, Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO-Porto), Porto, Portugal Department of Pathology and Molecular Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal


Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) consists of small fragments of DNA that circulate freely in the bloodstream. In cancer patients, a fraction of cfDNA is derived from tumour cells, therefore containing the same genetic and epigenetic alterations, and is termed circulating cell-free tumour DNA. The potential use of cfDNA, the so-called ‘liquid biopsy’, as a non-invasive cancer biomarker has recently received a lot of attention. The present review will focus on studies concerning the potential clinical applications of cfDNA in ovarian cancer patients.

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