Analysis of Circulating Tumor DNA to Monitor Metastatic Breast Cancer
ABSTRACT Background The management of metastatic breast cancer requires monitoring of the tumor burden to determine the response to treatment, and improved biomarkers are needed. Biomarkers such as cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) and circulating tumor cells have been widely studied. However, circulating cell-free DNA carrying tumor-specific alterations (circulating tumor DNA) has not been extensively investigated or compared with other circulating biomarkers in breast cancer. Methods We compared the radiographic imaging of tumors with the assay of circulating tumor DNA, CA 15-3, and circulating tumor cells in 30 women with metastatic breast cancer who were receiving systemic therapy. We used targeted or whole-genome sequencing to identify somatic genomic alterations and designed personalized assays to quantify circulating tumor DNA in serially collected plasma specimens. CA 15-3 levels and numbers of circulating tumor cells were measured at identical time points. Results Circulating tumor DNA was successfully detected in 29 of the 30 women (97%) in whom somatic genomic alterations were identified; CA 15-3 and circulating tumor cells were detected in 21 of 27 women (78%) and 26 of 30 women (87%), respectively. Circulating tumor DNA levels showed a greater dynamic range, and greater correlation with changes in tumor burden, than did CA 15-3 or circulating tumor cells. Among the measures tested, circulating tumor DNA provided the earliest measure of treatment response in 10 of 19 women (53%). Conclusions This proof-of-concept analysis showed that circulating tumor DNA is an informative, inherently specific, and highly sensitive biomarker of metastatic breast cancer. (Funded by Cancer Research UK and others.).
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ABSTRACT: Retrospective studies have demonstrated that nearly 50% of patients with ovarian cancer with normal cancer antigen 125 (CA125) levels have persistent disease; however, prospectively distinguishing between patients is currently impossible. Here, we demonstrate that for one patient, with the first reported fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) fusion transcript in ovarian cancer, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a more sensitive and specific biomarker than CA125, and it can also inform on a candidate therapeutic. For a 4-year period, during which the patient underwent primary debulking surgery and chemotherapy, tumor recurrences, and multiple chemotherapeutic regimens, blood samples were longitudinally collected and stored. Whereas postsurgical CA125 levels were elevated only three times for 28 measurements, the FGFR2 fusion ctDNA biomarker was readily detectable by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in all of these same blood samples and in the tumor recurrences. Given the persistence of the FGFR2 fusion, we treated tumor cells derived from this patient and others with the FGFR2 inhibitor BGJ398. Only tumor cells derived from this patient were sensitive to FGFR2 inhibitor treatment. Using the same methodologic approach, we demonstrate in a second patient with a different fusion that PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis can also be used to identify tumor-specific DNA in the circulation. Taken together, we demonstrate that a relatively inexpensive, PCR-based ctDNA surveillance assay can outperform CA125 in identifying occult disease.Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 01/2014; 16(1):97-103. DOI:10.1593/neo.131900 · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background:Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) circulating in the blood holds a possible prognostic value in malignant diseases. Under malignant conditions, the level of cfDNA increases but the biological mechanism remains to be fully understood. We aimed to examine the correlation between cfDNA and total tumour burden defined by positron emission tomography (PET) parameters.Methods:Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were enrolled into a prospective biomarker trial. Before treatment, plasma was extracted and the level of cfDNA was determined by qPCR. An (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) PET/computed tomography (CT) scan was performed and evaluated in terms of metabolic tumour volume (MTV) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG). Tumour contours were delineated semi-automatically by a threshold standardised uptake value (SUV) of 2.5. The primary end point was correlation among cfDNA, MTV and TLG. The secondary end point was overall survival (OS) according to cfDNA, MTV and TLG.Results:Fifty-three patients were included. There were no correlations between cfDNA and MTV (r=0.1) or TLG (r=0.1). cfDNA >75th percentile was correlated with shorter OS (P=0.02), confirmed in a multivariate analysis. MTV>the median was associated with a significantly shorter OS (P=0.02). There was no significant difference in OS according to TLG (P=0.08).Conclusion:Cell-free DNA may not be a simple measure of tumour burden, but seems to reflect more complex mechanisms of tumour biology, making it attractive as an independent prognostic marker.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication 14 November 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.705 www.bjcancer.com.British Journal of Cancer 11/2013; 110(2). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2013.705 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The presence of small amounts of circulating nucleic acids in plasma and serum (CNAPS) is not a new finding. The verification that such amounts are significantly increased in cancer patients, and that CNAPS might carry a variety of genetic and epigenetic alterations related to cancer development and progression, has aroused great interest in the scientific community in the last decades. Such alterations potentially reflect changes that occur during carcinogenesis, and include DNA mutations, loss of heterozygosity, viral genomic integration, disruption of microRNA, hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes, and changes in the mitochondrial DNA. These findings have led to many efforts toward the implementation of new clinical biomarkers based on CNAPS analysis. In the present article, we review the main findings related to the utility of CNAPS analysis for early diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of cancer, most of which appear promising. However, due to the lack of harmonization of laboratory techniques, the heterogeneity of disease progression, and the small number of recruited patients in most of those studies, there has been a poor translation of basic research into clinical practice. In addition, many aspects remain unknown, such as the release mechanisms of cell-free nucleic acids, their biological function, and the way by which they circulate in the bloodstream. It is therefore expected that in the coming years, an improved understanding of the relationship between CNAPS and the molecular biology of cancer will lead to better diagnosis, management, and treatment.OncoTargets and Therapy 01/2013; 6:819-32. DOI:10.2147/OTT.S44668 · 2.31 Impact Factor