Free circulating DNA as a biomarker of prostate cancer: Comparison of quantitation methods

Kavitha Ramachandran, Carl G. Speer, Stephanie Fiddy, Isildinha M. Reis, Rakesh Singal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Aim: To identify a simpler method of free circulating DNA (fcDNA) quantitation that may improve the specificity of the prostate cancer prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test. Materials and Methods: The patient group consisted of 241 men with elevated PSA/abnormal digital rectal exam (DRE), undergoing prostate biopsy. Serum fcDNA levels were measured by UV absorbance and PicoGreen. Results were compared to previously published quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) data. Results: We found that levels of fcDNA measured by PicoGreen correlated well with those measured by qPCR (r=0.8552). In the patient group with PSA >4 to 10 ng/ml, those with fcDNA (PicoGreen) >53.1 ng/ml were at increased risk for prostate cancer compared to those with fcDNA ≤53.1 ng/ml. Moreover, we found that measuring fcDNA levels by PicoGreen does not compromise the negative predictive value, accuracy or specificity of the qPCR fcDNA test. Conclusion: If validated in larger studies, PicoGreen quantitation of fcDNA could serve as a simple method to aid in prostate cancer diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4521-4530
Number of pages10
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Biomarker
  • Cell-free DNA
  • PicoGreen
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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