A laboratory method used to make many copies of a specific piece of DNA from a sample that contains very tiny amounts of that DNA. PCR allows these pieces of DNA to be amplified so they can be detected. PCR may be used to look for certain changes in a gene or chromosome, which may help find and diagnose a genetic condition or a disease, such as cancer. It may also be used to look at pieces of the DNA of certain bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms to help diagnose an infection. Also called polymerase chain reaction.
Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
A procedure that produces millions of copies of a short segment of DNA through repeated cycles of: (1) denaturation, (2) annealing, and (3) elongation. PCR 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 polymerase chain reaction.
Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms2005-01-24 Date last modified: 2016-09-01