• The art of obtaining a high yield of cell-free DNA from urine

      Augustus, E.; Van Casteren, K.; Rolfo, C. (Public Library of Science, 2020)
      Although liquid biopsies offer many advantages over tissue biopsies, they are not yet standard practice. An important reason for the lack of implementation is the unavailability of well standardized techniques and guidelines, especially for pre-analytical conditions which are an important factor causing the current sensitivity issues. To overcome these limitations, we investigated the effect of several pre-analytical conditions on the concentration of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and cellular genomic DNA (gDNA) contamination. Urine samples from healthy volunteers (HVs) and cancer patients were collected and processed according to specific pre-analytical conditions. Our results show that in samples with a relatively small volume more than 50% of the cfDNA can be found in the first 50 mL of the urine sample. The total DNA concentration increased again when samples were collected more than 3.5 hours apart. Adding preservative to urine samples is recommended to obtain high concentrations of cfDNA. To remove the cellular content, high speed centrifugation protocols as 4,000g 10min or 3,000g 15min are ideal for urine collected in cfDNA Urine Preserve (Streck). Although this study was a pilot study and needs to be confirmed in a larger study population, clear trends in the effect of several pre-analytical conditions were observed. Copyright 2020 Augustus et al.