Cell-free DNA integrity analysis in urine samples

Valentina Casadio, Samanta Salvi, Filippo Martignano, Roberta Gunelli, Sara Ravaioli, Daniele Calistri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the presence of circulating cell-free DNA in plasma or serum has been widely shown to be a suitable source of biomarkers for many types of cancer, few studies have focused on the potential use of urine cell-free (UCF) DNA. Starting from the hypotheses that normal apoptotic cells produce highly fragmented DNA and that cancer cells release longer DNA, the potential role of UCF DNA integrity was evaluated as an early diagnostic marker capable of distinguishing between patients with prostate or bladder cancer and healthy individuals. A UCF DNA integrity analysis is proposed on the basis of four quantitative real-time PCRs of four sequences longer than 250 bp: c-MYC, BCAS1, HER2, and AR. Sequences that frequently have an increased DNA copy number in bladder and prostate cancers were chosen for the analysis, but the method is flexible, and these genes could be substituted with other genes of interest. The potential utility of UCF DNA as a source of biomarkers has already been demonstrated for urologic malignancies, thus paving the way for further studies on UCF DNA characterization. The UCF DNA integrity test has the advantage of being non-invasive, rapid, and easy to perform, with only a few milliliters of urine needed to carry out the analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55049
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number119
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 2017


  • Bladder
  • Cancer
  • Cancer research
  • Cell-free DNA
  • Integrity
  • Issue 119
  • Prostate
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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