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Preoperative cell-free DNA concentration in plasma as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

INTRODUCTION: Assessment of renal tumour masses is based on conventional imaging studies (computer tomography or magnetic resonance), which does not allow characterisation of the histopathological type. Moreover, the prediction of prognosis in localised and metastatic renal cell carcinoma requires improvement as well. Analysis of circulating free DNA (cfDNA) in blood is one of the variants of liquid biopsy that may improve diagnostics and prognosis issues of patients with renal tumour masses suspected to be renal cell carcinoma. The aim of the study was to assess the diagnostic and prognostic role of preoperative cfDNA concentration in the plasma samples of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The preoperative plasma cfDNA concentration was assessed in ccRCC patients ( n = 46) and healthy individuals (control group) ( n = 17). The circulating free DNA concentration was reflected by the 90 bp DNA fragments determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS: The median cfDNA concentration was significantly higher in ccRCC patients ( n = 46) compared to the control g roup ( n = 17) (2588 ±2554 copies/ml vs. 960 ±490 copies/ml, p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, the preoperative plasma cfDNA concentration was the significant factor increasing the probability of ccRCC detection (OR: 1.003; 95% CI: 1.001-1.005). The median cfDNA concentration depended on the stage of ccRCC; it was higher in metastatic ccRCC patients ( n = 11) compared to non-metastatic ccRCC patients ( n = 35) (3619 ±4059 copies/ml vs. 2473 ±1378 copies/ml, p < 0.03). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demon-strated that patients with high cfDNA values (above 2913 copies/ml) had significantly worse cancer-specific survival (HR: 4.5; 95% CI: 1.3-16.9, log-rank Mantel-Cox test p = 0.015).

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative plasma cfDNA concentration has diagnostic and prognostic potential in ccRCC pa-tients.

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