Utility of targeted deep sequencing for detecting circulating tumor DNA in pancreatic cancer patients.
ABSTRACT: Targeted deep sequencing across broad genomic regions has been used to detect circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. However, since most PDACs harbor a mutation in KRAS, sequencing of broad regions needs to be systemically compared to analyzing only KRAS mutations for PDAC. Using capture-based targeted deep sequencing, we detected somatic tumor mutations in 17 fine needle aspiration biopsy and 69 longitudinal cell-free DNA (cfDNA) samples from 17 PDAC patients. KRAS mutations were detected in 10 out of 17 pretreatment patient plasma samples. Next, interrogation of genetic alterations in matched primary tumor samples detected ctDNA in 12 of 17 pretreatment plasma samples and cfDNA sequencing across the 83 target genes identified ctDNA in 15 of 17 cases (88.2% sensitivity). This improved sensitivity of ctDNA detection resulted in enhanced tumor burden monitoring when we analyzed longitudinal plasma samples. We found that cfDNA sequencing detected the lowest mutant allelic fractions and number of variants when complete response or partial response to chemotherapy was achieved. We demonstrated that ctDNA levels measured by targeted deep sequencing sensitively indicate the presence of cancer and correlate well with clinical responses to therapy and disease progression in PDAC patients.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains one of the most lethal malignancies. The genomic landscape of the PDAC genome features four frequently mutated genes (KRAS, CDKN2A, TP53, and SMAD4) and dozens of candidate driver genes altered at low frequency, including potential clinical targets. Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is a promising resource to detect and monitor molecular characteristics of tumors. In the present study, we determined the mutational status of KRAS in plasma cfDNA using multiplex picoliter-droplet digital PCR in 259 patients with PDAC. We constructed a novel modified SureSelect-KAPA-Illumina platform and an original panel of 60 genes. We then performed targeted deep sequencing of cfDNA and matched germline DNA samples in 48 patients who had ?1% mutant allele frequencies of KRAS in plasma cfDNA. Importantly, potentially targetable somatic mutations were identified in 14 of 48 patients (29.2%) examined by targeted deep sequencing of cfDNA. We also analyzed somatic copy number alterations based on the targeted sequencing data using our in-house algorithm, and potentially targetable amplifications were detected. Assessment of mutations and copy number alterations in plasma cfDNA may provide a prognostic and diagnostic tool to assist decisions regarding optimal therapeutic strategies for PDAC patients.
Project description:Objective: Circulating free DNA (cfDNA) in general and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in particular is becoming an increasingly used form of liquid biopsy biomarkers. In this study, we are investigating the ability to detect ctDNA from the plasma of pituitary adenoma (PA) patients. Design: Tumor tissue samples were obtained from planed PA resections, before which blood plasma samples were taken. Somatic variants found in PA tissue samples were evaluated in related cfDNA, isolated from plasma samples. Methods: Sanger sequencing, as well as previously obtained whole-exome sequencing data, were used to evaluate somatic variants composition in tumor tissue samples. cfDNA was isolated from the same PA patients and competitive allele-specific TaqMan PCR and amplicon-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach were used for targeted detection of variants found in corresponding tumor tissue samples. Results: Using NGS-based analysis, we detected five out of 17 somatic variants in 40 to 60% of total reads, three variants in 0.50-5.00% of total read count, including GNAS c.601C>T, which was detected using ultra-deep NGS (1.78 million X) in 0.77% of amplicons reads. Nine variants were not detected. We also detected We were not able to detect variant found in PA tissue in cfDNA using cast-PCR, indicating that the portion of variant-containing ctDNA in total isolated cfDNA is too small to be detected with this method. Conclusions: For the first time, we demonstrate the possibility to detect somatic variants of PA in cfDNA isolated from patients' blood plasma. Whether the source of variant detected in cfDNA is PA should be further tested.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage, leading to a poor prognosis. Therefore, interest in the development of non-invasive biomarkers for prognostic prediction has grown rapidly. Here, we assessed the clinical implications of v-Ki-ras2 kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS)-mutated circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a useful surrogate biomarker in patients with resectable PDAC.We used droplet digital polymerase chain reaction to detect rare mutant tumour-derived KRAS genes in plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) as ctDNA. Samples were collected from 105 patients who underwent pancreatoduodenectomy for PDAC at a single institution. Overall survival (OS) was analysed according to the presence of ctDNA.Among the 105 cases, ctDNA was detected in 33 (31%) plasma samples. The median OS durations were 13.6 months for patients with ctDNA (ctDNA+) and 27.6 months for patients without ctDNA. Patients who were ctDNA+ had a significantly poorer prognosis with respect to OS (P<0.0001).Our findings suggested that the presence of ctDNA in plasma samples could be an important and powerful predictor of poor survival in patients with PDAC. Accordingly, ctDNA detection might be a promising approach with respect to PDAC treatment.
Project description:PURPOSE:In research settings, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) shows promise as a tumor-specific biomarker for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). This study aims to perform analytical and clinical validation of a KRAS ctDNA assay in a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and College of American Pathology-certified clinical laboratory. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Digital-droplet PCR was used to detect the major PDAC-associated somatic KRAS mutations (G12D, G12V, G12R, and Q61H) in liquid biopsies. For clinical validation, 290 preoperative and longitudinal postoperative plasma samples were collected from 59 patients with PDAC. The utility of ctDNA status to predict PDAC recurrence during follow-up was assessed. RESULTS:ctDNA was detected preoperatively in 29 (49%) patients and was an independent predictor of decreased recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). Patients who had neoadjuvant chemotherapy were less likely to have preoperative ctDNA than were chemo-naïve patients (21% vs. 69%; P < 0.001). ctDNA levels dropped significantly after tumor resection. Persistence of ctDNA in the immediate postoperative period was associated with a high rate of recurrence and poor median RFS (5 months). ctDNA detected during follow-up predicted clinical recurrence [sensitivity 90% (95% confidence interval (CI), 74%-98%), specificity 88% (95% CI, 62%-98%)] with a median lead time of 84 days (interquartile range, 25-146). Detection of ctDNA during postpancreatectomy follow-up was associated with a median OS of 17 months, while median OS was not yet reached at 30 months for patients without ctDNA (P = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS:Measurement of KRAS ctDNA in a CLIA laboratory setting can be used to predict recurrence and survival in patients with PDAC.
Project description:Existing methods to improve detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) have focused on genomic alterations but have rarely considered the biological properties of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA). We hypothesized that differences in fragment lengths of circulating DNA could be exploited to enhance sensitivity for detecting the presence of ctDNA and for noninvasive genomic analysis of cancer. We surveyed ctDNA fragment sizes in 344 plasma samples from 200 patients with cancer using low-pass whole-genome sequencing (0.4×). To establish the size distribution of mutant ctDNA, tumor-guided personalized deep sequencing was performed in 19 patients. We detected enrichment of ctDNA in fragment sizes between 90 and 150 bp and developed methods for in vitro and in silico size selection of these fragments. Selecting fragments between 90 and 150 bp improved detection of tumor DNA, with more than twofold median enrichment in >95% of cases and more than fourfold enrichment in >10% of cases. Analysis of size-selected cfDNA identified clinically actionable mutations and copy number alterations that were otherwise not detected. Identification of plasma samples from patients with advanced cancer was improved by predictive models integrating fragment length and copy number analysis of cfDNA, with area under the curve (AUC) >0.99 compared to AUC <0.80 without fragmentation features. Increased identification of cfDNA from patients with glioma, renal, and pancreatic cancer was achieved with AUC > 0.91 compared to AUC < 0.5 without fragmentation features. Fragment size analysis and selective sequencing of specific fragment sizes can boost ctDNA detection and could complement or provide an alternative to deeper sequencing of cfDNA.
Project description:Assessing circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a promising method to evaluate somatic mutations from solid tumors in a minimally-invasive way. In a group of twelve metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients undergoing liver metastasectomy, from each patient DNA from cell-free DNA (cfDNA), the primary tumor, metastatic liver tissue, normal tumor-adjacent colon or liver tissue, and whole blood were obtained. Investigated was the feasibility of a targeted NGS approach to identify somatic mutations in ctDNA. This targeted NGS approach was also compared with NGS preceded by mutant allele enrichment using synchronous coefficient of drag alteration technology embodied in the OnTarget assay, and for selected mutations with digital PCR (dPCR). All tissue and cfDNA samples underwent IonPGM sequencing for a CRC-specific 21-gene panel, which was analyzed using a standard and a modified calling pipeline. In addition, cfDNA, whole blood and normal tissue DNA were analyzed with the OnTarget assay and with dPCR for specific mutations in cfDNA as detected in the corresponding primary and/or metastatic tumor tissue. NGS with modified calling was superior to standard calling and detected ctDNA in the cfDNA of 10 patients harboring mutations in APC, ATM, CREBBP, FBXW7, KRAS, KMT2D, PIK3CA and TP53. Using this approach, variant allele frequencies in plasma ranged predominantly from 1 to 10%, resulting in limited concordance between ctDNA and the primary tumor (39%) and the metastases (55%). Concordance between ctDNA and tissue markedly improved when ctDNA was evaluated for KRAS, PIK3CA and TP53 mutations by the OnTarget assay (80%) and digital PCR (93%). Additionally, using these techniques mutations were observed in tumor-adjacent tissue with normal morphology in the majority of patients, which were not observed in whole blood. In conclusion, in these mCRC patients with oligometastatic disease NGS on cfDNA was feasible, but had limited sensitivity to detect all somatic mutations present in tissue. Digital PCR and mutant allele enrichment before NGS appeared to be more sensitive to detect somatic mutations.
Project description:Exosomes arise from viable cancer cells and may reflect a different biology than circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) shed from dying tissues. We compare exosome-derived DNA (exoDNA) to cfDNA in liquid biopsies of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).Patient samples were obtained between 2003 and 2010, with clinically annotated follow up to 2015. Droplet digital PCR was performed on exoDNA and cfDNA for sensitive detection of KRAS mutants at codons 12/13. A cumulative series of 263 individuals were studied, including a discovery cohort of 142 individuals: 68 PDAC patients of all stages; 20 PDAC patients initially staged with localized disease, with blood drawn after resection for curative intent; and 54 age-matched healthy controls. A validation cohort of 121 individuals (39 cancer patients and 82 healthy controls) was studied to validate KRAS detection rates in early-stage PDAC patients. Primary outcome was circulating KRAS status as detected by droplet digital PCR. Secondary outcomes were disease-free and overall survival.KRAS mutations in exoDNA, were identified in 7.4%, 66.7%, 80%, and 85% of age-matched controls, localized, locally advanced, and metastatic PDAC patients, respectively. Comparatively, mutant KRAS cfDNA was detected in 14.8%, 45.5%, 30.8%, and 57.9% of these individuals. Higher exoKRAS MAFs were associated with decreased disease-free survival in patients with localized disease. In the validation cohort, mutant KRAS exoDNA was detected in 43.6% of early-stage PDAC patients and 20% of healthy controls.Exosomes are a distinct source of tumor DNA that may be complementary to other liquid biopsy DNA sources. A higher percentage of patients with localized PDAC exhibited detectable KRAS mutations in exoDNA than previously reported for cfDNA. A substantial minority of healthy samples demonstrated mutant KRAS in circulation, dictating careful consideration and application of liquid biopsy findings, which may limit its utility as a broad cancer-screening method.
Project description:Because circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) studies focusing on only one or a few genes to monitor the disease progress or treatment response are unlikely to find its clinical significance, the development of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) panel covering hundreds of mutation hot spots is important for the establishment of clinically practical ctDNA detection system. We enrolled 101 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who received chemotherapy. Amplicon-based genomic profiling of 14 genes, which are commonly mutated in CRC, in plasma by next-generation sequencing (NGS) was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of this assay and was compared with their clinical parameters and RAS status in matched tissue samples. Somatic mutations of the 14 genes in plasma cfDNA were detected in 88 patients (87.1%) with mCRC. Mutations in TP53, KRAS, and APC genes were detected in 70 (69.3%), 39 (38.6%), and 24 (23.7%) patients, respectively. Mutant allele frequencies in plasma were significantly associated with metastasis (liver, P = 0.00004, lymph node, P = 0.008, number of metastatic organs, P = 0.0006), tumor markers (CEA, P = 0.000007, CA19-9, P = 0.006, LDH, P = 0.00001), and tumor diameter (maximum, P = 0.00002, sum of diameter, P = 0.00009). The overall concordance rate of RAS status between ctDNA and matched tissue was 77.2% (78/101). Our data confirmed that mutant allele in cfDNA can be sensitively detected by amplicon-based NGS system. These results suggest that ctDNA could be a novel diagnostic biomarker to monitor changes in mutational status and tumor burden in patients with mCRC.
Project description:Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) carries genetic information consistent with tumor cells and has potential value for molecular diagnosis of tumors. The present study analysed the gene mutations of plasma circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and tumor tissue DNA in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and explored the clinical application value of plasma cfDNA as a tumor marker in HCC molecular diagnosis. Samples from 29 patients with primary HCC were collected. Hotspot mutations in 50 tumor-associated genes were analysed using amplicon sequencing technology and gene loci with a mutant allele frequency (MAF) >1% were analysed. 35 mutant genes in total were detected by deep sequencing method of which the genes with maximum mutation frequencies were TP53, ATM, and ALK. In addition, a total of 21 patients were found to have a consistent gene mutation in plasma cfDNA and tumor tissue DNA and 17 cases had consistent gene mutations in the paracancerous tissue and tumor tissue DNA. Further analysis showed that the MAFs in the TP53, CTNNB1, PIK3CA, and CDKN2A genes were higher in patients with tumor diameters >5 cm than those with tumor diameters <5 cm. And the MAFs in the TP53, RET, FGFR3 and APC genes were significantly higher in patients with multiple tumors or with metastasis than in single tumor patients. In conclusion, amplicon sequencing technology is highly sensitive for the detection of mutant genes in the plasma cfDNA of HCC patients. Plasma cfDNA might be an effective molecular marker for HCC molecular diagnosis.
Project description:Serial biopsy of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), to chart tumour evolution presents a significant challenge. We examined the utility of circulating free DNA (cfDNA) as a minimally invasive approach across a cohort of 55 treatment-naïve patients with PDAC; 31 with metastatic and 24 with locally advanced disease. Somatic mutations in cfDNA were detected using next generation sequencing in 15/24 (62.5%) and 27/31 (87%) of patients with locally advanced and metastatic disease, respectively. Copy number changes were detected in cfDNA of 10 patients of whom 7 exhibited gain of chromosome 12p harbouring KRAS as well as a canonical KRAS codon 12 mutation. In multivariable Cox Regression analysis, we show for the first time that patients with KRAS copy number gain and KRAS mutation have significantly worse outcomes, suggesting that this may be linked to PDAC progression. The simple cfDNA assay we describe will enable determination of the presence of KRAS copy number gain and KRAS mutations in larger studies and clinical trials.