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Mutations of mitochondrial DNA as potential biomarkers in breast cancer.
BACKGROUND: Alterations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have been found in cancer patients, therefore informative mtDNA mutations could serve as biomarkers for the disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The two hypervariable regions HVR1 and HVR2 in the D-Loop region were sequenced in ten paired tissue and plasma samples from breast cancer patients. RESULTS: MtDNA mutations were found in all patients' samples, suggesting a 100% detection rate. Examining germline mtDNA mutations, a total of 85 mutations in the D-loop region were found; 31 of these mutations were detected in both tissues and matched plasma samples, the other 54 germline mtDNA mutations were found only in the plasma samples. Regarding somatic mtDNA mutations, a total of 42 mutations in the D-loop region were found in breast cancer tissues. CONCLUSION: Somatic mtDNA mutations in the D-loop region were detected in breast cancer tissues but not in the matched plasma samples, suggesting that more sensitive methods will be needed for such detection to be of clinical utility.
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