Two-point-NGS analysis of cancer genes in cell-free DNA of metastatic cancer patients.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Although the efficacy of molecularly target agents in vitro, their use in routine setting is limited mainly to the use of anti-HER2 and antiEGFR agents in vivo. Moreover, core biopsy of a single cancer site may not be representative of the whole expanding clones and cancer molecular profile at relapse may differ with respect to the primary tumor. METHODS:We assessed the status of a large panel of cancer driver genes by cell-free DNA (cfDNA) analysis in a cohort of 68 patients with 13 different solid tumors at disease progression. Whenever possible, a second cfDNA analysis was performed after a mean of 2.5 months, in order to confirm the identified clone(s) and to check the correlation with clinical evolution. RESULTS:The approach was able to identify clones plausibly involved in the disease progression mechanism in about 65% of cases. A mean of 1.4 mutated genes (range 1-3) for each tumor was found. Point mutations in TP53, PIK3CA, and KRAS and copy number variations in FGFR3 were the gene alterations more commonly observed, with a rate of 48%, 20%, 16%, and 20%, respectively. Two-points-Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis demonstrated statistically significant correlation between allele frequency variation and clinical outcome (P = .026). CONCLUSIONS:Irrespective of the primary tumor mutational burden, few mutated genes are present at disease progression. Clinical outcome is consistent with variation of allele frequency of specific clones indicating that cfDNA two-point-NGS analysis of cancer driver genes could be an efficacy tool for precision oncology.
Project description:PURPOSE:We evaluated whether next-generation sequencing (NGS) of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could be used for patient selection and as a tumor clone response biomarker in patients with advanced cancers participating in early-phase clinical trials of targeted drugs. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Plasma samples from patients with known tumor mutations who completed at least two courses of investigational targeted therapy were collected monthly, until disease progression. NGS was performed sequentially on the Ion Torrent PGM platform. RESULTS:cfDNA was extracted from 39 patients with various tumor types. Treatments administered targeted mainly the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway (n = 28) or MEK (n = 7). Overall, 159 plasma samples were sequenced with a mean sequencing coverage achieved of 1,685X across experiments. At trial initiation (C1D1), 23 of 39 (59%) patients had at least one mutation identified in cfDNA (mean 2, range 1-5). Out of the 44 mutations identified at C1D1, TP53, PIK3CA and KRAS were the top 3 mutated genes identified, with 18 (41%), 9 (20%), 8 (18%) different mutations, respectively. Out of these 23 patients, 13 received a targeted drug matching their tumor profile. For the 23 patients with cfDNA mutation at C1D1, the monitoring of mutation allele frequency (AF) in consecutive plasma samples during treatment with targeted drugs demonstrated potential treatment associated clonal responses. Longitudinal monitoring of cfDNA samples with multiple mutations indicated the presence of separate clones behaving discordantly. Molecular changes at cfDNA mutation level were associated with time to disease progression by RECIST criteria. CONCLUSIONS:Targeted NGS of cfDNA has potential clinical utility to monitor the delivery of targeted therapies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Identifying and tracking somatic mutations in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) by next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to transform the clinical management of subjects with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS:Baseline tumor tissue (n?=?47) and longitudinal plasma (n?=?445) were collected from 71 NSCLC subjects treated with chemotherapy. cfDNA was enriched using a targeted-capture NGS kit containing 197 genes. Clinical responses to treatment were determined using RECIST v1.1 and correlations between changes in plasma somatic variant allele frequencies and disease progression were assessed. RESULTS:Somatic variants were detected in 89.4% (42/47) of tissue and 91.5% (407/445) of plasma samples. The most commonly mutated genes in tissue were TP53 (42.6%), KRAS (25.5%), and KEAP1 (19.1%). In some subjects, the allele frequencies of mutations detected in plasma increased 3-5?months prior to disease progression. In other cases, the allele frequencies of detected mutations declined or decreased to undetectable levels, indicating clinical response. Subjects with circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) levels above background had significantly shorter progression-free survival (median: 5.6 vs 8.9?months, respectively; log-rank p?=?0.0183). CONCLUSION:Longitudinal monitoring of mutational changes in plasma has the potential to predict disease progression early. The presence of ctDNA mutations during first-line treatment is a risk factor for earlier disease progression in advanced NSCLC.
Project description:Pleural effusion (PE) is commonly observed in advanced lung cancer and was suggested to contain both cell-free tumor DNA and tumor cells. Molecular profiling of PE represents a minimally invasive approach of detecting tumor driver mutations for clinical decision making, especially when tumor tissues are not available. The objective of this study is to investigate the efficacy and precision of detecting gene alterations in PE samples to address the feasibility in clinical use. Methods: Sixty-three metastatic lung cancer patients with (n=30, cohort 1) or without (n=33, cohort 2) matched tumor tissues were enrolled in this study. PE and plasma samples of each patient were collected simultaneously. Supernatant and cell precipitate of PE were processed separately to extract cfDNA (PE-cfDNA) and sediment DNA (sDNA). All samples were subjected to targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) of 416 cancer-related genes. Results: PE supernatants contain more abundant tumor DNA than PE sediments and plasma samples, suggested by higher mutant allele frequencies (MAF) and elevated mutation detection rate in PE-cfDNA (98.4% vs. 90.5% in PE sDNA vs. 87% in plasma cfDNA). In Cohort 1 with matched tumor tissue, tumor mutational burden (TMB) of PE-cfDNA was similar as tumor tissues (6.4 vs. 5.6), but significantly higher than PE sDNA (median TMB: 3.3) and plasma cfDNA (median TMB: 3.4). Ninety-three percent (27 out of 29) of tissue-determined driver mutations were detected in PE-cfDNA, including alterations in ALK, BRAF, EGFR, ERBB2, KRAS, NF1, PIK3CA, and RET, while only 62% were captured in plasma cfDNA. PE-cfDNA also has the highest detection rate of EGFR driver mutations in the full cohort (71% vs. 68% in PE sDNA vs. 59% in plasma cfDNA). Mutation detection from cytological negative and hemorrhagic PE is challenging. Comparatively, PE-cfDNA demonstrated absolute superiority than PE sDNA in such a scenario, suggesting that it is an independent source of tumor DNA and therefore less influenced by the abundance of tumor cells. Conclusion: Genomic profiling of PE-cfDNA offers an alternative, and potentially more meticulous approach in assessing tumor genomics in advanced lung cancer when tumor tissue is not available. Our data further demonstrate that in hemorrhagic or cytologically negative PE samples, PE-cfDNA has higher mutation detection sensitivity than sDNA and plasma cfDNA, and therefore is a more reliable source for genetic testing.
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:BACKGROUND:Noninvasive genotyping using plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has the potential to obviate the need for some invasive biopsies in cancer patients while also elucidating disease heterogeneity. We sought to develop an ultra-deep plasma next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay for patients with non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC) that could detect targetable oncogenic drivers and resistance mutations in patients where tissue biopsy failed to identify an actionable alteration. PATIENTS AND METHODS:Plasma was prospectively collected from patients with advanced, progressive NSCLC. We carried out ultra-deep NGS using cfDNA extracted from plasma and matched white blood cells using a hybrid capture panel covering 37 lung cancer-related genes sequenced to 50 000× raw target coverage filtering somatic mutations attributable to clonal hematopoiesis. Clinical sensitivity and specificity for plasma detection of known oncogenic drivers were calculated and compared with tissue genotyping results. Orthogonal ddPCR validation was carried out in a subset of cases. RESULTS:In 127 assessable patients, plasma NGS detected driver mutations with variant allele fractions ranging from 0.14% to 52%. Plasma ddPCR for EGFR or KRAS mutations revealed findings nearly identical to those of plasma NGS in 21 of 22 patients, with high concordance of variant allele fraction (r?=?0.98). Blinded to tissue genotype, plasma NGS sensitivity for de novo plasma detection of known oncogenic drivers was 75% (68/91). Specificity of plasma NGS in those who were driver-negative by tissue NGS was 100% (19/19). In 17 patients with tumor tissue deemed insufficient for genotyping, plasma NGS identified four KRAS mutations. In 23 EGFR mutant cases with acquired resistance to targeted therapy, plasma NGS detected potential resistance mechanisms, including EGFR T790M and C797S mutations and ERBB2 amplification. CONCLUSIONS:Ultra-deep plasma NGS with clonal hematopoiesis filtering resulted in de novo detection of targetable oncogenic drivers and resistance mechanisms in patients with NSCLC, including when tissue biopsy was inadequate for genotyping.
Project description:Robust identification of genetic alterations is important for the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of tumors. Screening for genetic alterations using tumor tissue samples may lead to biased interpretations because of the heterogeneous nature of the tumor mass. Liquid biopsy has been suggested as an attractive tool for the non-invasive follow-up of cancer treatment outcomes. In this study, we aimed to verify whether the mutations identified in primary tumor tissue samples could be consistently detected in plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) by digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR). We first examined the genetic alteration profiles of three colorectal cancer (CRC) tissue samples by targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) and identified 11 non-silent amino acid changes across six cancer-related genes (APC, KRAS, TP53, TERT, ARIDIA, and BRCA1). All three samples had KRAS mutations (G12V, G12C, and G13D), which were well-known driver events. Therefore, we examined the KRAS mutations by dPCR. When we examined the three KRAS mutations by dPCR using tumor tissue samples, all of them were consistently detected and the variant allele frequencies (VAFs) of the mutations were almost identical between targeted NGS and dPCR. When we examined the KRAS mutations using the plasma cfDNA of the three CRC patients by dPCR, all three mutations were consistently identified. However, the VAFs were lower (range, 0.166% to 2.638%) than those obtained using the CRC tissue samples. In conclusion, we confirmed that the KRAS mutations identified from CRC tumor tissue samples were consistently detected in the plasma cfDNA of the three CRC patients by dPCR.
Project description:Background and Aim:Liquid biopsy is a method that can efficiently detect tumor genetic abnormalities from body fluids such as blood and urine. Detection sensitivity and the available number of mutations in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) are limited. In this study, we develop a highly sensitive and comprehensive method to detect mutations from cfDNA by concentrating tumor fractions of small cfDNA in advanced colorectal cancers. Methods:Biopsied specimens and 37 serum samples were collected from 27 patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma. A serum-extracted cfDNA was divided into enriched fractionated small cfDNA and unfractionated cfDNA. Both cfDNAs were subjected to digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to evaluate their KRAS, BRAF, CDKN2A, and TP53 status. Consequently, their mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) were compared and analyzed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) in conjunction with tissue-derived DNA. Results:NGS analyses revealed mutations in TP53 (63%), KRAS (63%), APC (30%), and PIK3CA (22%). Digital PCR could detect mutations in 25 of 27 samples (93%) of unfractionated cfDNA, a rate that increased to 100% when samples were enriched with fractionated small cfDNA (6.8 vs 10.7%, P?<?0.001). NGS also showed increased MAFs in fractionated small cfDNA compared to unfractionated cfDNA (16.3 vs 18.8%, P = 0.012) and a tendency to detect a greater number of cancer-related genes in fractionated cfDNA. Conclusions:Fractionated small cfDNA increased MAFs of gene mutations and increases the possibilities to detect cancer-related genes even in advanced cancer patients from whom it is difficult to obtain tissue samples.
Project description:The analysis of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) extracted from peripheral blood can serve as a minimally invasive alternative to tumor tissue biopsies in cases with impaired access to tissue. Its clinical utility has been well demonstrated for EGFR T790M testing in lung cancer patients suffering progress after tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. At present, highly sensitive unique molecular identifiers (UMI)-based NGS for liquid biopsy testing is less established compared to single gene assays. However, the critical bottleneck are sufficient cfDNA yields, which are essentially required to obtain meaningful test results. We compared four different cfDNA extraction methods (Qiagen, Promega, Thermo and Stratec) using the same plasma samples in order to evaluate their suitability for further NGS analysis. We managed to draw 60 ml blood from 12 patients each and equally collected 30ml in PAXgene and EDTA tubes at the same time point, sufficient for total of 96 cfDNA extractions. CfDNA concentrations and total amounts were highest for Qiagen and Promega protocols, showing the best read length profiles after sequencing. Known oncogenic driver mutations were identified in 9 out of 12 patients with at least one of the cfDNA extraction methods, again favoring the extraction protocols from Qiagen and Promega. We also uncovered putative sequencing artefacts including known driver genes pointing to a careful consideration for the limit of detection of this methodology. Our study shows that pre-analytical optimization is necessary to achieve the maximum sensitivity of UMI-based sequencing but also highlights the low abundance of tumor-derived cfDNA in lung cancer samples.
Project description:Analysis of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) derived from peripheral blood ("liquid biopsy") is an attractive alternative to identify non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with the EGFR T790M mutation eligible for 3rd generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. We evaluated two PCR-based next generation sequencing (NGS) approaches, one including unique molecular identifiers (UMI), with focus on highly sensitive EGFR T790M mutation detection. Therefore, we extracted and sequenced cfDNA from synthetic plasma samples spiked with mutated DNA at decreasing allele frequencies and from 21 diagnostic NSCLC patients. Data evaluation was performed to determine the limit of detection (LoD), accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of both assays. Considering all tested reference dilutions and mutations the UMI assay performed best in terms of LoD (1% vs. 5%), sensitivity (95.8% vs. 81.3%), specificity (100% vs. 93.8%) and accuracy (96.9% vs. 84.4%). Comparing mutation status of diagnostic samples with both assays showed 81.3% concordance with primary mutation verifiable in 52% of cases. EGFR T790M was detected concordantly in 6/7 patients with allele frequencies from 0.1% to 27%. In one patient, the T790M mutation was exclusively detectable with the UMI assay. Our data demonstrate that both assays are applicable as multi-biomarker NGS tools enabling the simultaneous detection of primary EGFR driver and resistance mutations. However, for mutations with low allelic frequencies the use of NGS panels with UMI facilitates a more sensitive and reliable detection.