Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) consists of fragments of double stranded DNA that are found in the circulation. They are released from the apoptosis of both normal haemopoietic cells and malignant cells. The use of cfDNA from easily accessible peripheral blood samples has created a new strategy in studying molecular genomics in haematological malignancies. Its use in diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring potentially precludes the need for repeated tissue samples, i.e., bone marrow biopsy or primary tissue biopsy. It also potentially provides a more comprehensive analysis of the disease as cfDNA are released from tumours from multiple sites of the body. While cfDNA research is still in its infancy, given its potential and the expansion in next generation sequencing (NGS) it has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. This review will focus on acute leukaemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma and the potential diagnostic and prognostic implications of cfDNA, its role in response assessment and in detection of disease relapse.
- Cell-free DNA
- liquid biopsy