bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2021‒09‒26
three papers selected by
Lara Paracchini
Humanitas Research

  1. Gynecol Oncol Rep. 2021 Nov;38 100847
      Objective: Ovarian cancer (OC) is an intractable gynecological tumor, and frequent recurrence is experienced within a few years even after the complete eradication of tumor tissues by radical resection and neo-adjuvant chemotherapies. The conventional recurrence marker, CA125, is widely used for follow-up after resection of OC, but CA125 has a long half-life in blood and lacks dynamic responses to tumor recurrence. Recent developments in liquid biopsy procedures are expected to overcome the difficulties in early diagnosis of OC recurrence after surgery.Methods: We applied droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) technology to detect circulating tumor-derived DNA in OC patients' plasma during follow-up. Exome sequencing of 11 tumor-normal pairs of genomic DNA from consecutive OC patients identified tumor-specific mutations, and ddPCR probes were selected for each sample.
    Results: Six of 11 cases showed apparent recurrence during follow-up (mean progression-free survival was 348.3 days) and all six cases were positive in ddPCR analyses. In addition, ddPCR became positive before increased plasma CA125 in five out of six cases. Increased allele frequency of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is associated with increased tumor volume after recurrence. ddPCR detected ctDNA signals significantly earlier than increased CA125 in the detection of OC recurrence by imaging (49 days and 7 days before, respectively: p < 0.05). No ctDNA was detected in the plasma of recurrence-free cases.
    Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the potential of identifying ctDNA by ddPCR as an early detection tool for OC recurrence.
    Keywords:  CA125; Ovarian cancer; ctDNA; ddPCR
  2. Mol Oncol. 2021 Sep 20.
      We studied the value of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in predicting early postoperative tumor recurrence and monitoring tumor burden in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Plasma-free DNA, germline DNA and tissue DNA were isolated from 41 patients with HCC. Serial ctDNAs were analyzed by next-generation sequencing before and after operation. Whole-exome sequencing was used to detect the DNA of HCC and adjacent tissues. In total, 47 gene mutations were identified in the ctDNA of the 41 patients analyzed before surgery. ctDNA was detected in 63.4% and 46% of the patient tissues pre- and post-operation, respectively. The preoperative ctDNA positivity rate was significantly lower in the nonrecurrence group than in the recurrence group. With a median follow-up of 17.7 months, nine patients (22%) experienced tumor recurrence. ctDNA positivity at two timepoints was associated with significantly shorter recurrence-free survival (RFS). Tumors with NRAS, NEF2L2 and MET mutations had significantly shorter times to recurrence than those without mutations and showed high recurrence prediction performance by machine learning. Multivariate analyses showed that the median variant allele frequency (VAF) of mutations in preoperative ctDNA was a strong independent predictor of RFS. ctDNA is a real-time monitoring indicator that can accurately reflect tumor burden. The median VAF of baseline ctDNA is a strong independent predictor of RFS in individuals with HCC.
    Keywords:  Hepatocellular carcinoma; biomarker; ctDNA; tumor recurrence
  3. Clin Chem. 2021 Sep 21. pii: hvab168. [Epub ahead of print]