Quick assessment of cell-free DNA in seminal fluid and fragment size for early non-invasive prostate cancer diagnosis

Giovanni Ponti, Monia Maccaferri, Marco Manfredini, Salvatore Micali, Federica Torricelli, Riccardo Milandri, Chiara del Prete, Alessia Ciarrocchi, Cristel Ruini, Luisa Benassi, Stefania Bettelli, Shaniko Kaleci, Tomris Ozben, Aldo Tomasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Liquid biopsy consists in the quantification and qualification of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and tumor-derived DNA (ctDNA) for cancer recognition. Recently, the characterization of seminal cfDNA (scfDNA) has been reported as a possible biomarker for prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis. Methods: Thirty patients with histologically proven PCa, 33 with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and 21 healthy controls were enrolled. cfDNA was extracted from seminal fluid samples. cfDNA quantification and analysis were performed using Qubit ssDNA Kit and Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer. Statistical analysis included: Levene's test, Shapiro-Wilk, Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Kruskal Wallis tests. Results: Median cfDNA was significantly higher in PCa patients 428.45 ng/mL (173.93–1159.62) compared to BPH patients 77.4 ng/mL (18.23–501) and healthy controls 25.4 ng/mL (15.37–76.62). scfDNA fragments longer than 1000 base-pairs were more common in patients with PCa compared to those with BPH and controls. Conclusions: scfDNA concentration and fragment size differed significantly in the three groups of PCa, BPH and healthy controls. Both parameters are potential clinical biomarkers for PCa and can be used in both early diagnosis and follow-up. Using automated systems for high-throughput cfDNA quantification could improve the reproducibility of the method and facilitate the implementation of liquid biopsies in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • cfDNA fragment size distribution
  • Non-invasive prostate cancer diagnosis
  • Seminal cell-free DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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