Sensitive Detection of Cell-Free Tumour DNA Using Optimised Targeted Sequencing Can Predict Prognosis in Gastro-Oesophageal Cancer.

Wallander K, Haider Z, Jeggari A, Foroughi-Asl H, Gellerbring A, Lyander A, Chozhan A, Cuba Gyllensten O, Hägglund M, Wirta V, Nordenskjöld M, Lindblad M, Tham E

Cancers (Basel) 15 (4) - [2023-02-11; online 2023-02-11]

In this longitudinal study, cell-free tumour DNA (a liquid biopsy) from plasma was explored as a prognostic biomarker for gastro-oesophageal cancer. Both tumour-informed and tumour-agnostic approaches for plasma variant filtering were evaluated in 47 participants. This was possible through sequencing of DNA from tissue biopsies from all participants and cell-free DNA from plasma sampled before and after surgery (n = 42), as well as DNA from white blood cells (n = 21) using a custom gene panel with and without unique molecular identifiers (UMIs). A subset of the plasma samples (n = 12) was also assayed with targeted droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). In 17/31 (55%) diagnostic plasma samples, tissue-verified cancer-associated variants could be detected by the gene panel. In the tumour-agnostic approach, 26 participants (59%) had cancer-associated variants, and UMIs were necessary to filter the true variants from the technical artefacts. Additionally, clonal haematopoietic variants could be excluded using the matched white blood cells or follow-up plasma samples. ddPCR detected its targets in 10/12 (83%) and provided an ultra-sensitive method for follow-up. Detectable cancer-associated variants in plasma correlated to a shorter overall survival and shorter time to progression, with a significant correlation for the tumour-informed approaches. In summary, liquid biopsy gene panel sequencing using a tumour-agnostic approach can be applied to all patients regardless of the presence of a tissue biopsy, although this requires UMIs and the exclusion of clonal haematopoietic variants. However, if sequencing data from tumour biopsies are available, a tumour-informed approach improves the value of cell-free tumour DNA as a negative prognostic biomarker in gastro-oesophageal cancer patients.

Clinical Genomics Stockholm [Collaborative]

PubMed 36831507

DOI 10.3390/cancers15041160

Crossref 10.3390/cancers15041160

pmc: PMC9954085
pii: cancers15041160

Publications 9.5.0