Direct detection of early-stage cancers using circulating tumor DNA.
ABSTRACT: Early detection and intervention are likely to be the most effective means for reducing morbidity and mortality of human cancer. However, development of methods for noninvasive detection of early-stage tumors has remained a challenge. We have developed an approach called targeted error correction sequencing (TEC-Seq) that allows ultrasensitive direct evaluation of sequence changes in circulating cell-free DNA using massively parallel sequencing. We have used this approach to examine 58 cancer-related genes encompassing 81 kb. Analysis of plasma from 44 healthy individuals identified genomic changes related to clonal hematopoiesis in 16% of asymptomatic individuals but no alterations in driver genes related to solid cancers. Evaluation of 200 patients with colorectal, breast, lung, or ovarian cancer detected somatic mutations in the plasma of 71, 59, 59, and 68%, respectively, of patients with stage I or II disease. Analyses of mutations in the circulation revealed high concordance with alterations in the tumors of these patients. In patients with resectable colorectal cancers, higher amounts of preoperative circulating tumor DNA were associated with disease recurrence and decreased overall survival. These analyses provide a broadly applicable approach for noninvasive detection of early-stage tumors that may be useful for screening and management of patients with cancer.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant tumors worldwide, causing a large number of cancer-related deaths each year. Patients are usually diagnosed at advanced and incurable stages due to the lack of suitable screening methods for early detection. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), including small and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA), are known to have significant regulatory functions, and accumulating evidence suggests that circulating ncRNAs have potential applications as noninvasive biomarkers for diagnosing CRC, evaluating its prognosis, or predicting chemosensitivity in the general population. In this review, we summarize the origins of circulating ncRNAs and provide details of single and multiple circulating ncRNAs that might have roles as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in CRC. We end by discussing circulating ncRNAs that may distinguish patients with resistance to chemotherapy.
Project description:Early detection and intervention are likely to be the most effective means for reducing morbidity and mortality of human cancer. However, development of methods for noninvasive detection of early-stage tumors has remained a challenge. We have developed an approach called targeted error correction sequencing (TEC-Seq) that allows ultrasensitive direct evaluation of sequence changes in circulating cell-free DNA using massively parallel sequencing. We have used this approach to examine 58 cancer-related genes encompassing 81 kb. Analysis of plasma from 44 healthy individuals identified genomic changes related to clonal hematopoiesis in 16% of asymptomatic individuals but no alterations in driver genes related to solid cancers. Evaluation of 200 patients with colorectal, breast, lung, or ovarian cancer detected somatic mutations in the plasma of 71, 59, 59, and 68%, respectively, of patients with stage I or II disease. Analyses of mutations in the circulation revealed high concordance with alterations in the tumors of these patients. In patients with resectable colorectal cancers, higher amounts of preoperative circulating tumor DNA were associated with disease recurrence and decreased overall survival. These analyses provide a broadly applicable approach for noninvasive detection of early-stage tumors that may be useful for screening and management of patients with cancer.
Project description:Clinical management of cancer patients could be improved through the development of noninvasive approaches for the detection of incipient, residual, and recurrent tumors. We describe an approach to directly identify tumor-derived chromosomal alterations through analysis of circulating cell-free DNA from cancer patients. Whole-genome analyses of DNA from the plasma of 10 colorectal and breast cancer patients and 10 healthy individuals with massively parallel sequencing identified, in all patients, structural alterations that were not present in plasma DNA from healthy subjects. Detected alterations comprised chromosomal copy number changes and rearrangements, including amplification of cancer driver genes such as ERBB2 and CDK6. The level of circulating tumor DNA in the cancer patients ranged from 1.4 to 47.9%. The sensitivity and specificity of this approach are dependent on the amount of sequence data obtained and are derived from the fact that most cancers harbor multiple chromosomal alterations, each of which is unlikely to be present in normal cells. Given that chromosomal abnormalities are present in nearly all human cancers, this approach represents a useful method for the noninvasive detection of human tumors that is not dependent on the availability of tumor biopsies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Early detection plays an essential role to reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality. While current screening methods suffer from poor compliance, liquid biopsy-based strategies for cancer detection is rapidly gaining promise. Here, we describe the development of TriMeth, a minimal-invasive blood-based test for detection of early-stage colorectal cancer. The test is based on assessment of three tumour-specific DNA methylation markers in circulating cell-free DNA. RESULTS:A thorough multi-step biomarker discovery study based on DNA methylation profiles of more than 5000 tumours and blood cell populations identified CRC-specific DNA methylation markers. The DNA methylation patterns of biomarker candidates were validated by bisulfite sequencing and methylation-specific droplet digital PCR in CRC tumour tissue and peripheral blood leucocytes. The three best performing markers were first applied to plasma from 113 primarily early-stage CRC patients and 87 age- and gender-matched colonoscopy-verified controls. Based on this, the test scoring algorithm was locked, and then TriMeth was validated in an independent cohort comprising 143 CRC patients and 91 controls. Three DNA methylation markers, C9orf50, KCNQ5, and CLIP4, were identified, each capable of discriminating plasma from colorectal cancer patients and healthy individuals (areas under the curve 0.86, 0.91, and 0.88). When combined in the TriMeth test, an average sensitivity of 85% (218/256) was observed (stage I: 80% (33/41), stage II: 85% (121/143), stage III: 89% (49/55), and stage IV: 88% (15/17)) at 99% (176/178) specificity in two independent plasma cohorts. CONCLUSION:TriMeth enables detection of early-stage colorectal cancer with high sensitivity and specificity. The reported results underline the potential utility of DNA methylation-based detection of circulating tumour DNA in the clinical management of colorectal cancer.
Project description:Despite recent advances in molecular profiling of colorectal cancer (CRC), as of yet this has not translated into an unbiased molecular liquid biopsy profile which can accurately screen for early CRC. In this study we depict the profile of early stage CRC as well as for advanced adenomas (AA) by combination of current molecular knowledge with microarray technology, using efficient circulating free plasma RNA purification from blood and RNA amplification technologies. We joined literature search with Affymetrix gene chip experimental procedure to draw the circulating free plasma RNA profile of colorectal cancer disease reflected in blood. The RNA panel was tested by two datasets comparing patients with CRC with healthy subjects and patients with AA to healthy subjects. For the CRC patient cohort (28 CRC cases vs. 41 healthy controls), the ROC analysis of the selected biomarker panel generated a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 93% for the detection of CRC using 8-gene classification model. For the AA patient cohort (28 subjects vs. 46 healthy controls), a sensitivity of 60% and a specificity of 87% were calculated using a 2-gene classification model. We have identified a panel of 8 plasma RNA markers as a preliminary panel for CRC detection and subset markers suitable for AA detection. Subjected to extensive clinical validation we suggest that this panel represents a feasible approach and a potential strategy for noninvasive early diagnosis, as a first-line screening test for asymptomatic, average-risk population before colonoscopy.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:There are no robust noninvasive methods for colorectal cancer screening and diagnosis. Metabolomic and gene expression analyses of urine and tissue samples from mice and humans were used to identify markers of colorectal carcinogenesis. METHODS:Mass spectrometry-based metabolomic analysis of urine and tissues from wild-type C57BL/6J and Apc(Min/+) mice, as well as from mice with azoxymethane-induced tumors, was employed in tandem with gene expression analysis. Metabolic profiling was also performed on colon tumor and adjacent nontumor tissues from 39 patients. The effects of ?-catenin activity on metabolic profiles were assessed in mice with colon-specific disruption of Apc. RESULTS:Thirteen markers were found in urine associated with development of colorectal tumors in Apc(Min/+) mice. Metabolites related to polyamine metabolism, nucleic acid metabolism, and methylation, identified tumor-bearing mice with 100% accuracy, and also accurately identified mice with polyps. Changes in gene expression in tumor samples from mice revealed that derangement of metabolites were a reflection of coordinate metabolic reprogramming in tumor tissue. Similar changes in urinary metabolites were observed in mice with azoxymethane-induced tumors and in mice with colon-specific activation of ?-catenin. The metabolic alterations indicated by markers in urine, therefore, appear to occur during early stages of tumorigenesis, when cancer cells are proliferating. In tissues from patients, tumors had stage-dependent increases in 17 metabolites associated with the same metabolic pathways identified in mice. Ten metabolites that were increased in tumor tissues, compared with nontumor tissues (proline, threonine, glutamic acid, arginine, N1-acetylspermidine, xanthine, uracil, betaine, symmetric dimethylarginine, and asymmetric-dimethylarginine), were also increased in urine from tumor-bearing mice. CONCLUSIONS:Gene expression and metabolomic profiles of urine and tissue samples from mice with colorectal tumors and of colorectal tumor samples from patients revealed pathways associated with derangement of specific metabolic pathways that are indicative of early-stage tumor development. These urine and tissue markers might be used in early detection of colorectal cancer.
Project description:Early detection is crucial for achieving a reduction in breast cancer mortality. Analysis of circulating cell-free microRNAs present in the serum of cancer patients has emerged as a promising new noninvasive biomarker for early detection of tumors and for predicting their molecular classifications. The rationale for this study was to identify subtype-specific molecular profiles of cell-free microRNAs for early detection of breast cancer in serum. Fifty-four early-stage breast cancers with 27 age-matched controls were selected for circulating microRNAs evaluation in the serum. The 54 cases were molecularly classified (luminal A, luminal B, luminal B Her2 positive, Her-2, triple negative). NanoString platform was used for digital detection and quantitation of 800 tagged microRNA probes and comparing the overall differences in serum microRNA expression from breast cancer cases with controls. We identified the 42 most significant (P ? 0.05, 1.5-fold) differentially expressed circulating microRNAs in each molecular subtype for further study. Of these microRNAs, 19 were significantly differentially expressed in patients presenting with luminal A, eight in the luminal B, ten in luminal B HER 2 positive, and four in the HER2 enriched subtype. AUC is high with suitable sensitivity and specificity. For the triple negative subtype miR-25-3p had the best accuracy. Predictive analysis of the mRNA targets suggests they encode proteins involved in molecular pathways such as cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. This study identified subtype-specific molecular profiles of cell-free microRNAs suitable for early detection of breast cancer selected by comparison to the microRNA profile in serum for female controls without apparent risk of breast cancer. This molecular profile should be validated using larger cohort studies to confirm the potential of these miRNA for future use as early detection biomarkers that could avoid unnecessary biopsy in patients with a suspicion of breast cancer.
Project description:The development of noninvasive methods to detect and monitor tumors continues to be a major challenge in oncology. We used digital polymerase chain reaction-based technologies to evaluate the ability of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to detect tumors in 640 patients with various cancer types. We found that ctDNA was detectable in >75% of patients with advanced pancreatic, ovarian, colorectal, bladder, gastroesophageal, breast, melanoma, hepatocellular, and head and neck cancers, but in less than 50% of primary brain, renal, prostate, or thyroid cancers. In patients with localized tumors, ctDNA was detected in 73, 57, 48, and 50% of patients with colorectal cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast adenocarcinoma, respectively. ctDNA was often present in patients without detectable circulating tumor cells, suggesting that these two biomarkers are distinct entities. In a separate panel of 206 patients with metastatic colorectal cancers, we showed that the sensitivity of ctDNA for detection of clinically relevant KRAS gene mutations was 87.2% and its specificity was 99.2%. Finally, we assessed whether ctDNA could provide clues into the mechanisms underlying resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor blockade in 24 patients who objectively responded to therapy but subsequently relapsed. Twenty-three (96%) of these patients developed one or more mutations in genes involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Together, these data suggest that ctDNA is a broadly applicable, sensitive, and specific biomarker that can be used for a variety of clinical and research purposes in patients with multiple different types of cancer.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Early detection of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) would help to identify tumors when curative treatments are available and beneficial. However, current screening methods for CRC, e.g., colonoscopy, may affect patients' compliance due to the uncomfortable, invasive and time-consuming process. In recent decades, methylation profiles of blood-based circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) have shown promising results in the early detection of multiple tumors. Here we conducted a study to investigate the performance of ctDNA methylation markers in early detection of CRC.<h4>Results</h4>In total, 742 participants were enrolled in the study including CRC (n?=?332), healthy control (n?=?333), benign colorectal disease (n?=?65) and advanced adenoma (n?=?12). After age-matched and randomization, 298 participants (149 cancer and 149 healthy control) were included in training set and 141 (67 cancer and 74 healthy control) were in test set. In the training set, the specificity was 89.3% (83.2-93.7%) and the sensitivity was 88.6% (82.4-93.2%). In terms of different stages, the sensitivities were 79.4% (62.1-91.2%) in patients with stage I, 88.9% (77.3-95.8%) in patients with stage II, 91.4% (76.9-98.2%) in patients with stage III and 96.2% (80.3-99.9%) in patients with stage IV. Similar results were validated in the test set with the specificity of 91.9% (83.1-97.0%) and sensitivity of 83.6% (72.5-91.6%). Sensitivities for stage I-III were 87.0% (79.7-92.4%) in the training set and 82.5% (70.2-91.3%) in the test set, respectively. In the unmatched total population, the positive ratios were 7.8% (5.2-11.2%) in healthy control, 30.8% (19.9-43.5%) in benign colorectal disease and 58.3% (27.5-84.7%) in advanced adenoma, while the sensitivities of stage I-IV were similar with training and test sets. Compared with methylated SEPT9 model, the present model had higher sensitivity (87.0% [81.8-91.2%] versus 41.2% [34.6-48.1%], P?<?0.001) under comparable specificity (90.1% [85.4-93.7%] versus 90.6% [86.0-94.1%]).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Together our findings showed that ctDNA methylation markers were promising in the early detection of CRC. Further validation of this model is warranted in prospective studies.
Project description:MicroRNAs are stable and easy to detect in plasma. The plasma levels of microRNAs are often changed in disease conditions, including cancer. This makes circulating microRNAs a novel class of biomarkers for cancer diagnosis. Analyses of online microRNA data base revealed that expression level of three microRNAs, microRNA-24 (miR-24), microRNA-320a (miR-320a), and microRNA-423-5p (miR-423-5p) were down-regulated in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, whether the plasma level of these three microRNAs can serve as biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and prognosis is not determined.Plasma samples from 223 patients with colorectal related diseases (111 cancer carcinoma, 59 adenoma, 24 colorectal polyps and 29 inflammatory bowel disease) and 130 healthy controls were collected and subjected to reverse transcription-quantitative real time PCR (RT-qPCR) analyses for the three microRNAs. In addition, plasma samples from 43 patients were collected before and after surgical treatment for the same RT-qPCR analyses.The concentrations of plasma miR-24, miR-320a and miR-423-5p were all decreased in patients with CRC and benign lesions (polyps and adenoma) compared with healthy controls, but increased in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The sensitivity of miR-24, miR-320a and miR-423-5p for early stage of CRC were 77.78 %, 90.74 %, and 88.89 %, respectively. Moreover, the plasma concentration of the three microRNAs was increased in patients after the surgery who had clinical improvement.The plasma levels of miR-24, miR-320a, and miR-423-5p have promising potential to serve as novel biomarkers for CRC detection, especially for early stage of CRC, which are superior to the currently used clinical biomarkers for CRC detection, such as CEA and CA19-9. Further efforts to develop the three microRNAs as biomarkers for early CRC diagnosis and prediction of surgical treatment outcomes are warrant.