Cancer Information

polymerase chain reaction

(puh-LIH-meh-rays chayn ree-AK-shun)

A laboratory method used to make many copies of a specific DNA sequence. Also called PCR.

A procedure that produces millions of copies of a short segment of DNA through repeated cycles of: (1) denaturation, (2) annealing, and (3) elongation. Polymerase chain reaction is a very common procedure in molecular genetic testing and may be used to generate a sufficient quantity of DNA to perform a test (e.g., allele-specific amplification, trinucleotide repeat quantification). Also called PCR.