Polymerase chain reaction in the staging of solid tumors

Eric G. Davis, Celia Chao, Kelly M. McMasters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a molecular biology technique that holds great promise as a way to perform molecular staging of cancer by detecting very early metastatic disease. Significant data suggest that PCR analysis may play an important role in the management of colorectal cancer in the future. However, for PCR staging of breast cancer, progress awaits identification of gene markers that have sufficient sensitivity and specificity. Within the next few years, the results of the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial and other ongoing studies will determine whether PCR evaluation of sentinel lymph nodes and peripheral blood cells has prognostic relevance in melanoma. The future of cancer management will likely revolve around the molecular staging of tumors, and PCR is but one method that may better define subgroups of patients that are appropriate candidates for various anticancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Solid tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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