Serum DNA integrity index as a potential molecular biomarker in endometrial cancer

Enrico Vizza, Giacomo Corrado, Martina De Angeli, Mariantonia Carosi, Emanuela Mancini, Ermelinda Baiocco, Benito Chiofalo, Lodovico Patrizi, Ashanti Zampa, Giulia Piaggio, Lucia Cicchillitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and its integrity index may represent a rapid and noninvasive "liquid biopsy" biomarker, which gives important complementary information for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment stratification in cancer patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate the possible role of cfDNA and its integrity index as a complementary tool for endometrial cancer (EC) management. Methods: Alu-quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis wasprformed on 60 serum samples from preoperative EC patients randomly recruited. Both cfDNA content and DNA integrity index were measured by qPCR-Alu115 (representing total cfDNA) and qPCR-Alu247 (corresponding to high molecular weight DNA) and correlated with clinicopathologic characteristics. Lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) was detected by hematoxylin and eosin staining. In case of doubt, LVSI status was further evaluate by immunohistochemistry using anti-CD31 and anti-CD34 antibodies. Results: Total cfDNA content significantly increases in high grade EC. A significant decrease of DNA integrity index was detected in the subset of hypertensive and obese high grade EC. Serum DNA integrity was higher in samples with LVSI. The ordinal regression analysis predicted a significant correlation between decreased integrity index values and hypertension specifically in tumors presenting LVSI. Conclusions: Our study supports the utility of serum DNA integrity index as a noninvasive molecular biomarker in EC. We show that a correlation analysis between cfDNA quantitative and qualitative content and clinicopathologic features, such as blood pressure level, body mass index (BMI) and LVSI status, could represent a potential predictive signature to help stratification approaches in EC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2018


  • Circulating cell-free DNA
  • DNA integrity index
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Lymphovascular space invasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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