Patient specific circulating tumor DNA fingerprints to monitor treatment response across multiple tumors

Published on 2020-08-02T03:58:47Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) offers a convenient way to monitor tumor progression and treatment response. Because tumor mutational profiles are highly variable from person to person, a fixed content panel may be insufficient to track treatment response in all patients. Methods We design ctDNA fingerprint panels specific to individual patients which are based on whole exome sequencing and target to high frequency clonal population clusters in patients. We test the fingerprint panels in 313 patients who together have eight tumor types (colorectal, hepatocellular, gastric, breast, pancreatic, and esophageal carcinomas and lung cancer and cholangiocarcinoma) and exposed to multiple treatment methods (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted-drug therapy, immunotherapy, and combinations of them). We also monitor drug-related mutations in the patients using a pre-designed panel with eight hotspot genes. Results 291 (93.0%) designed fingerprint panels harbor less than ten previously known tumor genes. We detected 7475 ctDNA mutations in 238 (76%) patients and 6196 (96.0%) of the mutations are detected in only one test. Both the level of ctDNA content fraction (CCF) and fold change of CCF (between the definitive and proceeding tests) are highly correlated with clinical outcomes (p-values 1.36e-6 for level and 5.64e-10 for fold change, Kruskal–Wallis test). The CCFs of PD patients are an order of magnitude higher than the CCFs of SD and OR patients (median/mean 2.22%/8.96% for SD, 0.18/0.21% for PD, and 0.31/0.54% for OR; pairwise p-values 7.8e-6 for SD ~ PD, 2.7e-4 for OR ~ PD, and 7.0e-3 for SD ~ OR, Wilcoxon rank sum test). The fold change of CCF distinguishes the patient groups even better, which increases for PD, remains stable for SD, and decreases for OR patients (p-values 0.002, ~ 1, and 0.0001 respectively, Wilcoxon signed-rank test). Eleven drug-related mutations are identified from nine out of the 313 patients. Conclusions The ctDNA fingerprint method improves both specificity and sensitivity of monitoring treatment response across several tumor types. It can identify tumor relapse/recurrence potentially earlier than imaging-based diagnosis. When augmented with tumor hotspot genes, it can track acquired drug-related mutations in patients.

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Li, Jiaping; Jiang, Wei; Wei, Jinwang; Zhang, Jianwei; Cai, Linbo; Luo, Minjie; et al. (2020): Patient specific circulating tumor DNA fingerprints to monitor treatment response across multiple tumors. figshare. Collection.