bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2021‒07‒18
seven papers selected by
Lara Paracchini
Humanitas Research

  1. Pathol Oncol Res. 2021 ;27 581534
      Objective: We conducted this study to characterize somatic genomic alterations in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from patients with ovarian cancer and compare GAs detected in ctDNA with tissue databases. Methods: Hybrid capture-next generation sequencing genomic profiling of 150 genes was performed on ctDNA from 138 patients with ovarian cancer with 1,500× sequencing depth. The GAs detected in ctDNA were compared with those in our ovarian cancer tissue database (N = 488) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database (N = 489). Results: 115 patients (83%) had at least 1 GA detected in ctDNA. The most frequently altered genes detected in ctDNA were TP53 (72%), KRAS (11%), LRP1B (10%), ZNF703 (9%) and NF1 (8%). Comparative analysis with our tissue database showed similar frequencies of GAs per gene, although PIK3CA and KRAS mutations were more frequent in tissue and ctDNA, respectively (p < 0.05). Gene amplification and rearrangement were more frequent in ctDNA samples. The mutation frequency of homologous recombination repair associated-genes, VEGF signal/angiogenesis pathways, RAS pathways, NOTCH pathways and MSI-H ratio was not statistically different either in ctDNA or in tissue database. However, the mutation frequency of AKT, PIK3CA, PTEN and STK11 in PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway was significantly lower than that in tissue samples (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest that genomic profiling of ctDNA could detect somatic GAs in a significant subset of patients with ovarian cancer. Hybrid capture-NGS based on liquid biopsy has the potential capability to serve as a substitute to tissue biopsy and further studies are warranted.
    Keywords:  circulating tumor DNA; genomic alterations; genomic profiling; liquid biopsy; ovarian cancer
  2. Gynecol Oncol. 2021 Jul 10. pii: S0090-8258(21)00538-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical benefit of monotherapy with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in patients diagnosed with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer and to investigate the predictive value of current PI3K/AKT/mTOR biomarkers on therapy response.METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library for articles reporting on treatment with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in ovarian cancer. The primary endpoint was defined as the clinical benefit rate (CBR), including the proportion of patients with complete (CR) and partial response (PR) and stable disease (SD). Secondary endpoints included the overall response rate (ORR, including CR and PR) and drug-related grade 3 and 4 adverse events.
    RESULTS: We included 233 patients from 19 studies and observed a pooled CBR of 32% (95% CI 20-44%) and ORR of 3% (95% CI 0-6%) in advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer patients treated with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors. Subgroup analysis tended to favor the studies who selected patients based on current PI3K/AKT/mTOR biomarker criteria (e.g. genomic alterations or loss of PTEN protein expression), but the difference in CBR was not statistically significant from studies with unselected populations (respectively, CBR of 42% (95% CI 23-62%) and 27% (95% CI 14-42%), P = 0.217). To better reflect true patient benefit, we excluded SD <6 months as a beneficial outcome which resulted in a pooled CBR of 7% (95% CI 2-13%). The overall proportion of patients with drug-related grade 3 and 4 adverse events was 36%.
    CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of monotherapy with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in advanced recurrent ovarian cancer patients is limited to a small subgroup and selection of patients with the use of current biomarkers did not improved the CBR significantly. Given the toxicity profile, we suggest that current treatment with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors should not be initiated unless in clinical trials. Furthermore, improved biomarkers to measure functional PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway activity are needed to optimize patient selection.
    Keywords:  Akt; Mammalian target of rapamycin; Ovarian cancer; Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase; Signal transduction pathway; Targeted therapy
  3. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 692360
      Reciprocal signaling between immune cells and ovarian cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment can alter immune responses and regulate disease progression. These signaling events are regulated by multiple factors, including genetic and epigenetic alterations in both the ovarian cancer cells and immune cells, as well as cytokine pathways. Multiple immune cell types are recruited to the ovarian cancer tumor microenvironment, and new insights about the complexity of their interactions have emerged in recent years. The growing understanding of immune cell function in the ovarian cancer tumor microenvironment has important implications for biomarker discovery and therapeutic development. This review aims to describe the factors that shape the phenotypes of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment of ovarian cancer and how these changes impact disease progression and therapy.
    Keywords:  cytokine; epigenetic; genetic; immune; ovarian cancer; tumor microenvironment
  4. JCO Precis Oncol. 2021 ;pii: PO.20.00420. [Epub ahead of print]5
      Plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) sequencing is a compelling diagnostic tool in solid tumors and has been shown to have high positive predictive value. However, limited assay sensitivity means that negative plasma genotyping, or the absence of detection of mutation of interest, still requires reflex tumor biopsy.METHODS: We analyzed two independent cohorts of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with known canonical driver and resistance mutations who underwent plasma cfDNA genotyping. We measured quantitative features, such as maximum allelic frequency (mAF), as clinically available measures of cfDNA tumor content, and studied their relationship with assay sensitivity.
    RESULTS: In patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC harboring EGFR T790M, detection of driver mutation at > 1% AF conferred a sensitivity of 97% (368/380) for detection of T790M across three cfDNA genotyping platforms. Similarly, in a second cohort of patients with EGFR or KRAS driver mutations, when the mAF of nontarget mutations was > 1%, sensitivity for driver mutation detection was 100% (43/43). Combining the two NSCLC patient cohorts, the presence of nontarget mutations at mAF > 1% predicts for high sensitivity (> 95%) for identifying the presence of the known driver mutation, whereas mAF of ≤ 1% confers sensitivity of only 26%-54% across platforms. Focusing on 21 false-negative cases where the driver mutation was not detected on plasma next-generation sequencing, other mutations (presumably clonal hematopoiesis) were detected at ≤ 1% AF in 14 (67%).
    CONCLUSION: Plasma cfDNA genotyping is highly sensitive when adequate tumor DNA content is present. The likelihood of a false-negative cfDNA genotyping result is low in a sample with evidence of > 1% tumor content. Bioinformatic approaches are needed to further optimize the assessment of cfDNA tumor content in plasma genotyping assays.
  5. Gynecol Oncol. 2021 Jul 13. pii: S0090-8258(21)00536-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVES: ARID1A mutation is frequently found in clear cell ovarian cancer (CCC) and endometrioid ovarian cancer (EC). Anti-PD-1 monotherapy has been found to have limited efficacy in epithelial ovarian cancer; however, anti-PD-1 therapy showed significant clinical benefit in some CCC. We sought to define the relationship of ARID1A mutation/ARID1A expression to the immunogenic profile of different histologic subtypes of ovarian cancer.METHODS: We performed next-generation sequencing of 160 cancer-related genes. Also, we analyzed the immunohistochemical status of ARID1A, PD-L1, and CD8 with survival in different histologic subtypes of ovarian cancer in a total of 103 cases.
    RESULTS: ARID1A mutation was found in 0% of the high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) (n = 36), 41.5% of the CCC (n = 41), 45.0% of the EC (n = 20), and 33.3% of the mucinous ovarian cancer (MC) (n = 6) cases. ARID1A loss was found in 19.4% of the HGSC, 75.6% of the CCC, 60.0% of the EC and 0% of the MC cases. ARID1A mutation was found to be associated with high PD-L1 (p < 0.001) or CD8 levels (p < 0.001) in CCC but not in other histologic subtypes. Meanwhile, ARID1A loss was associated with high PD-L1 or CD8 levels in CCC (p < 0.001) and HGSC (p < 0.001) but not in EC and MC. In addition, ARID1A mutation was associated with high tumor mutation burden in CCC (p = 0.006).
    CONCLUSIONS: ARID1A mutation/ARID1A expression is associated with immune microenvironmental factors in CCC but not in EC. ARID1A status can be a biomarker for selecting candidates for immune checkpoint blockade in CCC.
    Keywords:  ARID1A; AT-rich interactive domain 1A; Immune therapy; Immunotherapy; Ovarian cancer; PD-L1
  6. Nat Commun. 2021 07 12. 12(1): 4255
      Homology-directed repair (HDR), a critical DNA repair pathway in mammalian cells, is complex, leading to multiple outcomes with different impacts on genomic integrity. However, the factors that control these different outcomes are often not well understood. Here we show that SWS1-SWSAP1-SPIDR controls distinct types of HDR. Despite their requirement for stable assembly of RAD51 recombinase at DNA damage sites, these proteins are not essential for intra-chromosomal HDR, providing insight into why patients and mice with mutations are viable. However, SWS1-SWSAP1-SPIDR is critical for inter-homolog HDR, the first mitotic factor identified specifically for this function. Furthermore, SWS1-SWSAP1-SPIDR drives the high level of sister-chromatid exchange, promotes long-range loss of heterozygosity often involved with cancer initiation, and impels the poor growth of BLM helicase-deficient cells. The relevance of these genetic interactions is evident as SWSAP1 loss prolongs Blm-mutant embryo survival, suggesting a possible druggable target for the treatment of Bloom syndrome.