The interplay of circulating tumor DNA and chromatin modification, therapeutic resistance, and metastasis
Peripheral circulating free DNA (cfDNA) is DNA that is detected in plasma or serum fluid with a cell-free status. For cancer patients, cfDNA not only originates from apoptotic cells but also from necrotic tumor cells and disseminated tumor cells that have escaped into the blood during epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Additionally, cfDNA derived from tumors, also known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), carries tumor-associated genetic and epigenetic changes in cancer patients, which makes ctDNA a potential biomarker for the early diagnosis of tumors, monitory and therapeutic evaluations, and prognostic assessments, among others, for various kinds of cancer. Moreover, analyses of cfDNA chromatin modifications can reflect the heterogeneity of tumors and have potential for predicting tumor drug resistance.
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