Nat Commun 13 (1) 4033 [2022-07-12; online 2022-07-12]
Rare tumor-specific mutations in patient samples serve as excellent markers to monitor the course of malignant disease and responses to therapy in clinical routine, and improved assay techniques are needed for broad adoption. We describe herein a highly sensitive and selective molecule amplification technology - superRCA assays - for rapid and highly specific detection of DNA sequence variants present at very low frequencies in DNA samples. Using a standard flow cytometer we demonstrate precise, ultra-sensitive detection of single-nucleotide mutant sequences from malignant cells against up to a 100,000-fold excess of DNA from normal cells in either bone marrow or peripheral blood, to follow the course of patients treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We also demonstrate that sequence variants located in a high-GC region may be sensitively detected, and we illustrate the potential of the technology for early detection of disease recurrence as a basis for prompt change of therapy.