Overview of PCR-Based Technologies and Multiplexed Gene Analysis for Biomarker Studies
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become an invaluable tool for the assessment of the presence and type of nucleic acids in tissues and body fluids. It is the in vitro enzymatic synthesis and amplification of specific DNA sequences. It can amplify one molecule of DNA or RNA into billions of copies in a few hours. This enables mutation tracking for management of any cancer, which is particularly crucial in targeted therapies. Novel applications include analysis of blood for circulating DNA for tumor-associated mutations. RNA analysis has been extensively used for quantification of gene expression. This forms the basis of multiple gene expression assays including multigene panels that are being developed for prognostic and predictive purposes. This chapter will provide a brief overview of the basics of PCR and the current applications in clinical oncology.
KeywordsPolymerase chain reaction Endpoint PCR Quantitative PCR and reverse transcription-qPCR Clinical oncology
Polymerase chain reaction
Quantitative real-time PCR
Reverse transcriptase quantitative real-time PCR
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
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