Objectives We sought to determine the feasibility and characterize the extinction kinetics of circulating cell-free tumor DNA (cfDNA) testing in endometrial and ovarian carcinomas (ECs, OCs) using a clinically-approved commercially-available assay.
Methods Women with suspected EC/OC undergoing surgery were consented for tissue and plasma sampling including pre-operative and serial post-operative draws. Tumour tissue and patient-matched buffy coat was extracted for DNA and sequenced for somatic mutations using FINDIT™ panel assay. Plasma samples were extracted for cfDNA and sequenced using FOLLOWIT™, Illumina platform, and analyzed using Contextual Genomics’s QUALITY NEXUS analysis pipelines. Low-frequency variants were confirmed by digital droplet PCR.
Results 44 individuals had sufficient tissue and follow-up for inclusion; 24 ECs (13 endometrioid, 10 high-grade serous (HGS), 1 clear cell(CC)), 18 OCs (17 HGS 1, CC), and 2 synchronous endometrial and ovarian carcinomas. Eight ECs and 15 OC cases were advanced stage (II-IV) with residual disease in 2 ECs and 5 OCs, 8 recurrence events and 3 deaths recorded. Compliance with plasma sampling was high(>95%) when requested in hospital or at routine surveillance visits but dropped to 68% for ‘extra’ study-associated visits. Analysis to date reveals cfDNA was detectable in pre-operative samples of 19 individuals (9 ECs, 10 OCs including 4 early stage) and 6/10 tested post-operatively. Normalization of conventional tumour markers post-operatively took a median of 3mo in contrast to rapid loss of detectable cfDNA.
Conclusions cfDNA testing is feasible and may enhance surveillance of endometrial and ovarian carcinomas by reflecting i) volume of disease pre-/post-operatively, ii) response to therapy, and/or iii) recurrence.
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