Skoltech professor Dmitriy Chudakov has co-authored a paper “Deep cfDNA fragment end profiling enables cancer detection” that has been published in Molecular Cancer journal. The number of cancer cases is expected to increase by 40% in 20 years and reach nearly 30 million new cases per year in 2040. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to get a grip on cancer prevention and early diagnosis. Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) found in the bloodstream is primarily a byproduct of cell death in both normal and cancer cells. Circulating DNA fragments are mainly short molecules with an average length of mononucleosome size that tend to be more fragmented in internucleosomal linkers and open chromatin regions. This leads to a biased, non-random fragmentation pattern. Moreover, tumor-derived DNA fragments (ctDNA) tend to be shorter than the non-tumor cell-derived fraction, and constantly accumulating evidence suggests that cfDNA fragmentation may serve as a cancer biomarker at the whole-genome level. In this paper, the researchers focus on targeted high-resolution profiling of cancer-specific open-chromatin regions in cfDNA from the blood of healthy individuals and patients with colorectal and renal cancers. They demonstrate that the proposed approach can facilitate cancer detection.