IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 1610: Circulating Cell-Free DNA as a Prognostic and Molecular Marker for Patients with Brain Tumors under Perillyl Alcohol-Based Therapy
International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19061610
Clovis Da Fonseca
Tumor infiltration into brain tissue usually remains undetected even by high-resolution imaging. Molecular markers are used to increase diagnostic accuracy, but with limited continuous monitoring application. We evaluated the potential of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) as a molecular indicator of the response to therapy by the intranasal administration (ITN) of perillyl alcohol (POH) in brain tumors. The cohort included 130 healthy subjects arranged as control-paired groups and patients at terminal stages with glioblastoma (GBM, n = 122) or brain metastasis (BM, n = 55) from stage IV adenocarcinomas. Serum cfDNA was isolated and quantified by fluorimetry. Compared with the controls (40 ng/mL), patients with brain tumors before ITN-POH treatment had increased (p &lt; 0.0001) cfDNA median levels: GBM (286 ng/mL) and BM (588 ng/mL). ITN-POH treatment was significantly correlated (rho = &minus;0.225; p = 0.024) with survival of &gt;6 months at a concentration of 599 &plusmn; 221 ng/mL and of &lt;6 months at 1626 &plusmn; 505 ng/mL, but a sharp and abrupt increase of cfDNA and tumor recurrence occurred after ITN-POH discontinuation. Patients under continuous ITN-POH treatment and checked with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compatible with complete response had cfDNA levels similar to the controls. cfDNA may be used as a noninvasive prognostic and molecular marker for POH-based therapy in brain tumors and as an accurate screening tool for the early detection of tumor progression.