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Systematic Review

Circulating Tumor DNA Detection by Digital-Droplet PCR in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Systematic Review

1
Department of Medical Oncology, INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
2
CIBERONC, Medical Oncology Unit, INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
3
Liver, Biliary and Pancreatic Unit, Department of Surgery, Hospital Clínico Universitario of Valencia, University of Valencia, INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute, 46010 Valencia, Spain
4
Department of Pathology, INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giulia Siravegna
Cancers 2021, 13(5), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13050994
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 11 February 2021 / Accepted: 23 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
Pancreatic cancer is a digestive tumor that is most difficult to treat and carries one of the worst prognoses. The anatomical location of the pancreas makes it very difficult to obtain enough tumor material to establish a molecular diagnosis, so knowing the biology of this tumor and implementing new targeted-therapies is still a pending issue. The use of liquid biopsy, a blood sample test to detect circulating-tumor DNA fragments (ctDNA), is key to overcoming this difficulty and improving the evolution of this tumor. Liquid biopsies are equally representative of the tissue from which they come and allow relevant molecular and diagnostic information to be obtained in a faster and less invasive way. One challenge related to ctDNA is the lack of consistency in the study design. Moreover, ctDNA accounts for only a small percentage of the total cell-free circulating DNA and prior knowledge about particular mutations is usually required. Thus, our aim was to understand the current role and future perspectives of ctDNA in pancreatic cancer using digital-droplet PCR technology.
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most devastating malignant tumors, being the seventh leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Researchers and clinicians are endeavoring to develop strategies for the early detection of the disease and the improvement of treatment results. Adequate biopsy is still challenging because of the pancreas’s poor anatomic location. Recently, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) could be identified as a liquid biopsy tool with huge potential as a non-invasive biomarker in early diagnosis, prognosis and management of PC. ctDNA is released from apoptotic and necrotic cancer cells, as well as from living tumor cells and even circulating tumor cells, and it can reveal genetic and epigenetic alterations with tumor-specific and individual mutation and methylation profiles. However, ctDNA sensibility remains a limitation and the accuracy of ctDNA as a biomarker for PC is relatively low and cannot be currently used as a screening or diagnostic tool. Increasing evidence suggests that ctDNA is an interesting biomarker for predictive or prognosis studies, evaluating minimal residual disease, longitudinal follow-up and treatment management. Promising results have been published and therefore the objective of our review is to understand the current role and the future perspectives of ctDNA in PC. View Full-Text
Keywords: ctDNA; digital-droplet PCR (ddPCR); pancreatic cancer; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) ctDNA; digital-droplet PCR (ddPCR); pancreatic cancer; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huerta, M.; Roselló, S.; Sabater, L.; Ferrer, A.; Tarazona, N.; Roda, D.; Gambardella, V.; Alfaro-Cervelló, C.; Garcés-Albir, M.; Cervantes, A.; Ibarrola-Villava, M. Circulating Tumor DNA Detection by Digital-Droplet PCR in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Systematic Review. Cancers 2021, 13, 994. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13050994

AMA Style

Huerta M, Roselló S, Sabater L, Ferrer A, Tarazona N, Roda D, Gambardella V, Alfaro-Cervelló C, Garcés-Albir M, Cervantes A, Ibarrola-Villava M. Circulating Tumor DNA Detection by Digital-Droplet PCR in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Systematic Review. Cancers. 2021; 13(5):994. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13050994

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huerta, Marisol; Roselló, Susana; Sabater, Luis; Ferrer, Ana; Tarazona, Noelia; Roda, Desamparados; Gambardella, Valentina; Alfaro-Cervelló, Clara; Garcés-Albir, Marina; Cervantes, Andrés; Ibarrola-Villava, Maider. 2021. "Circulating Tumor DNA Detection by Digital-Droplet PCR in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Systematic Review" Cancers 13, no. 5: 994. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13050994

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