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Disease Markers
Volume 2016, Article ID 3825819, 12 pages
Review Article

Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Circulating Cell-Free DNA Can Be Used as an Adjuvant Tool for Prostate Cancer Screening: A Meta-Analysis

1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Center for Gene Diagnosis, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
2Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First People’s Hospital of Jingmen, Jingmen, China
3Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Received 28 June 2016; Revised 23 August 2016; Accepted 31 August 2016

Academic Editor: Tilman Todenhöfer

Copyright © 2016 Changqing Yin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As part of “liquid biopsy,” lots of literature indicated the potential diagnostic value of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the management of prostate cancer (PCa). However, the literature on the accuracy of cfDNA detection in PCa has been inconsistent. Hence, we performed this meta-analysis to assess the diagnostic value of cfDNA in PCa. A total of 19 articles were included in this analysis according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. We then investigated two main subgroups in this meta-analysis, including qualitative analysis of abnormal level of cfDNA and qualitative analysis of single-gene methylation alterations. Overall, the results of quantitative analysis showed sensitivity of 0.73 (95% CI, 0.62–0.82) and specificity of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.70–0.87), with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.83 (95% CI, 0.80–0.86). For qualitative assessment, the values were 0.34 (95% CI, 0.22–0.48), 0.99 (95% CI, 0.97–1.00), and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.88–0.93), respectively. Our results suggest the pooled specificity of each subgroup is much higher than the specificity of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). However, they are not recommended for PCa screening alone, because their sensitivities are not higher than the conventional serum biomarkers PSA. We conclude that analysis of cfDNA can be used as an adjuvant tool for PCa screening.