Enhanced detection of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) enables its use as a reliable biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of gastric cancer

Jiyoon Bu, Tae Hee Lee, Woo Jin Jeong, Michael J. Poellmann, Kara Mudd, Hyuk Soo Eun, Elizabeth W. Liu, Seungpyo Hong, Sung Hee Hyun

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Although circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is a promising biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of various tumors, clinical correlation of cfDNA with gastric cancer has not been fully understood. To address this, we developed a highly sensitive cfDNA capture system by integrating polydopamine (PDA) and silica. PDA-silica hybrids incorporated different molecular interactions to a single system, enhancing cfDNA capture by 1.34-fold compared to the conventional silica-based approach (p = 0.001), which was confirmed using cell culture supernatants. A clinical study using human plasma samples revealed that the diagnostic accuracy of the new system to be superior than the commercially available cfDNA kit, as well as other serum antigen tests. Among the cancer patients, plasma cfDNA levels exhibited a good correlation with the size of a tumor. cfDNA was also predicative of distant metastasis, as the median cfDNA levels of metastatic cancer patients were ~60-fold higher than those without metastasis (p = 0.008). Furthermore, high concordance between tissue biopsy and cfDNA genomic analysis was found, as HER2 expression in cfDNA demonstrated an area under ROC curve (AUC) of 0.976 (p <0.001) for detecting patients with HER2-positive tumors. The new system also revealed high prognostic capability of cfDNA, as the concentration of cfDNA was highly associated with the survival outcomes. Our novel technology demonstrates the potential to achieve efficient detection of cfDNA that may serve as a reliable biomarker for gastric tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242145
JournalPloS one
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially supported by DRP program of the Wisconsin Head & Neck Cancer SPORE Grant (P50-DE026787) and by Sponsored Research Program (SRP) from Capio Biosciences, Inc. These do not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Bu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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