Scientists from Tokyo University of Science, led by Prof Ryushin Mizuta, have now discovered exactly how cfDNA is generated.
They also talk about the applications of DNase1L3--the enzyme mainly responsible for generating cfDNA--as a novel molecule to prevent the spread of tumors.
Prof Mizuta says, "The results of this study are an important step toward one phase of an exciting new era of genomic medicine."
Fetus cfDNA derived from pregnant women had already gained popularity as a tool for prenatal screening.
Is it derived from cells that undergo programmed death in the body (apoptosis) or is it derived from cells dying by injury or inflammation (necrosis)?
The study group led by Prof Mizuta, of the Research Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Tokyo University of Science, have now answered all of these questions.