bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2022‒02‒13
eleven papers selected by
Lara Paracchini
Humanitas Research

  1. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 11. 13(1): 835
      The majority of high-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSCs) are deficient in homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair, most commonly due to mutations or hypermethylation of the BRCA1/2 genes. We aimed to discover how BRCA1/2 mutations shape the cellular phenotypes and spatial interactions of the tumor microenvironment. Using a highly multiplex immunofluorescence and image analysis we generate spatial proteomic data for 21 markers in 124,623 single cells from 112 tumor cores originating from 31 tumors with BRCA1/2 mutation (BRCA1/2mut), and from 13 tumors without alterations in HR genes. We identify a phenotypically distinct tumor microenvironment in the BRCA1/2mut tumors with evidence of increased immunosurveillance. Importantly, we report a prognostic role of a proliferative tumor-cell subpopulation, which associates with enhanced spatial tumor-immune interactions by CD8+ and CD4 + T-cells in the BRCA1/2mut tumors. The single-cell spatial landscapes indicate distinct patterns of spatial immunosurveillance with the potential to improve immunotherapeutic strategies and patient stratification in HGSC.
  2. Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2022 Feb 11.
      The RAD51D gene codes a protein-paralog of the RAD51 DNA recombinase, which catalyzes DNA strand exchange during homologous recombination. Similar to BRCA1/BRCA2, mutations in RAD51D both predispose to ovarian carcinoma and impart sensitivity to poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors in preclinical studies. Based on cancer risk prediction models, RAD51D mutations pose a moderate-to-high risk for ovarian cancer warranting consideration for risk-reducing surgery. We report a case of serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma in a patient undergoing risk-reducing total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for a RAD51D pathogenic variant. The histopathologic and p53-immunophenotypic features of this lesion are similar to those reported previously in BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers and those of serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma associated with sporadic high-grade serous carcinomas. These features include marked increase in nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio, loss of cell polarity, absence of ciliation, prominent nucleoli, mitotic activity, epithelial stratification, surface exfoliative changes, and complete loss of p53 staining. Although familial ovarian cancers with mutations in RAD51D-or other genes in the Fanconi anemia pathway-are much less common those with BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations, our findings support a common phenotype for early serous cancers in this pathway.
  3. Cancer. 2022 Feb 15. 128 Suppl 4 861-874
      Minimally invasive molecular biomarkers have been applied to the early detection of multiple cancers in large scale case-control and cohort studies. These demonstrations of feasibility herald the potential for permanent transformation of current cancer screening paradigms. This commentary discusses the major opportunities and challenges facing the preclinical development and clinical validation of multicancer early detection test strategies. From a diverse set of early detection research perspectives, the authors recommend specific approaches and highlight important questions for future investigation.
    Keywords:  biomarkers; early detection of cancer; liquid biopsy; translational medical research; tumor
  4. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(2): e0262770
      BACKGROUND: The present prospective study aimed at determining the impact of cell-free tumor DNA (ct-DNA), CA125 and HE4 from blood and ascites for quantification of tumor burden in patients with advanced high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).METHODS: Genomic DNA was extracted from tumor FFPE and ct-DNA from plasma before surgery and on subsequent post-surgical days. Extracted DNA was subjected to hybrid-capture based next generation sequencing. Blood and ascites were sampled before surgery and on subsequent post-surgical days. 20 patients (10 undergoing complete resection (TR0), 10 undergoing incomplete resection (TR>0)) were included.
    RESULTS: The minor allele frequency (MAF) of TP53 mutations in ct-DNA of all patients with TR0 decreased significantly, compared to only one patient with TR>0. It was not possible to distinguish between patients with TR0 and patients with TR>0, using CA125 and HE4 from blood and ascites.
    CONCLUSIONS: Based upon the present findings, ct-DNA assessment in patients with high-grade serous EOC might help to better determine disease burden compared to standard tumor markers. Further studies should prospectively evaluate whether this enhancement of accuracy can help to optimize management of patients with EOC.
  5. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 11. pii: clincanres.1242.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) offers a non-invasive approach to monitor cancer. Here we develop a method using whole-exome sequencing (WES) of cfDNA for simultaneously monitoring the full spectrum of cancer treatment outcomes, including MRD, recurrence, evolution, and second primary cancers.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Three simulation datasets were generated from 26 cancer patients to benchmark the detection performance of MRD/recurrence and second primary cancers. For further validation, cfDNA samples (n=76) from cancer patients (n=35) with six different cancer types were used for performance validation during various treatments.
    RESULTS: We present a cfDNA-based cancer monitoring method, named cfTrack Taking advantage of the broad genome coverage of WES data, cfTrack can sensitively detect MRD and cancer recurrence by integrating signals across known clonal tumor mutations of a patient. In addition, cfTrack detects tumor evolution and second primary cancers by de novo identifying emerging tumor mutations. A series of machine learning and statistical denoising techniques are applied to enhance the detection power. On the simulation data,cfTrack achieved an average AUC of 99% on the validation dataset and 100% on the independent dataset in detecting recurrence in samples with tumor fractions {greater than or equal to}0.05%. In addition,cfTrack yielded an average AUC of 88% in detecting second primary cancers in samples with tumor fractions {greater than or equal to}0.2%. On real data, cfTrack accurately monitors tumor evolution during treatment, which cannot be accomplished by previous methods.
    CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrated that cfTrack can sensitively and specifically monitor the full spectrum of cancer treatment outcomes using exome-wide mutation analysis of cfDNA.
  6. Comput Biol Med. 2022 Feb 03. pii: S0010-4825(22)00075-0. [Epub ahead of print]143 105283
      As a kind of novel non-invasive marker for molecular detection, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has potential value for the early diagnosis of diseases, prognosis assessment, and efficacy monitoring. The constant developments in molecular biology detection technologies have led to an increase in clinical studies on the use of cfDNA detection methods for patients, and many gratifying outcomes have been achieved. In this review, the contributions of bioinformatics tools to the study of cfDNA are well discussed. The focus of the review is on cfDNA identification signals, cfDNA identification methods, and the relationship of cfDNA with human diseases such as hepatic cancer, lung cancer, end-stage kidney disease, and ischemic stroke. The research significance and existing problems of using cfDNA as a biomarker for diseases are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Cell-free DNA; Identification of cfDNA; Methylation; cfDNA related diseases
  7. Lancet. 2022 Feb 05. pii: S0140-6736(21)02175-9. [Epub ahead of print]399(10324): 541-553
      BACKGROUND: Low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary or peritoneum is characterised by MAPK pathway aberrations and its reduced sensitivity to chemotherapy relative to high-grade serous carcinoma. We compared the MEK inhibitor trametinib to physician's choice standard of care in patients with recurrent low-grade serous carcinoma.METHODS: This international, randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 2/3 trial was done at 84 hospitals in the USA and UK. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with recurrent low-grade serous carcinoma and measurable disease, as defined by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors version 1.1, had received at least one platinum-based regimen, but not all five standard-of-care drugs, and had received an unlimited number of previous regimens. Patients with serous borderline tumours or tumours containing low-grade serous and high-grade serous carcinoma were excluded. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either oral trametinib 2 mg once daily (trametinib group) or one of five standard-of-care treatment options (standard-of-care group): intravenous paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 by body surface area on days 1, 8, and 15 of every 28-day cycle; intravenous pegylated liposomal doxorubicin 40-50 mg/m2 by body surface area once every 4 weeks; intravenous topotecan 4 mg/m2 by body surface area on days 1, 8, and 15 of every 28-day cycle; oral letrozole 2·5 mg once daily; or oral tamoxifen 20 mg twice daily. Randomisation was stratified by geographical region (USA or UK), number of previous regimens (1, 2, or ≥3), performance status (0 or 1), and planned standard-of-care regimen. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival while receiving randomised therapy, as assessed by imaging at baseline, once every 8 weeks for 15 months, and then once every 3 months thereafter, in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in patients who received at least one dose of study therapy. This trial is registered with, NCT02101788, and is active but not recruiting.
    FINDINGS: Between Feb 27, 2014, and April 10, 2018, 260 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the trametinib group (n=130) or the standard-of-care group (n=130). At the primary analysis, there were 217 progression-free survival events (101 [78%] in the trametinib group and 116 [89%] in the standard-of-care group). Median progression-free survival in the trametinib group was 13·0 months (95% CI 9·9-15·0) compared with 7·2 months (5·6-9·9) in the standard-of-care group (hazard ratio 0·48 [95% CI 0·36-0·64]; p<0·0001). The most frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse events in the trametinib group were skin rash (17 [13%] of 128), anaemia (16 [13%]), hypertension (15 [12%]), diarrhoea (13 [10%]), nausea (12 [9%]), and fatigue (ten [8%]). The most frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse events in the standard-of-care group were abdominal pain (22 [17%]), nausea (14 [11%]), anaemia (12 [10%]), and vomiting (ten [8%]). There were no treatment-related deaths.
    INTERPRETATION: Trametinib represents a new standard-of-care option for patients with recurrent low-grade serous carcinoma.
    FUNDING: NRG Oncology, Cancer Research UK, Target Ovarian Cancer, and Novartis.
  8. Gynecol Oncol Rep. 2022 Feb;39 100926
      Objectives: We quantitatively characterized the change in temporospatial expression of repressive and stimulatory checkpoints across immune cell populations in the tumor microenvironment in a cohort of high grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOC) using matched samples before and after neoadjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy.Methods: Using retrospectively collected matched tissue samples from 9 patients, cell populations were assessed using multiplex immunofluorescence using the Vectra Multispectral Imaging System (Perkin Elmer). We used multiple panels to assess: tumor (AE1/AE3), T cells (CD3, CD8, FOXP3), macrophages (CD68) as well as immune checkpoints (C3aR, PD-1, PD-L1, LAG3, IDO, ICOS, GITR). IHC staining was performed for folate receptor status. Changes in immune cell populations as well as intensities of associated repressive and stimulatory proteins were assessed pre- to post-treatment.
    Results: We observed a consistently high pre-treatment stromal macrophage population which is reduced post-chemotherapy with post-treatment enrichment in macrophage PD-L1 expression. While inhibitory checkpoint expression on T cells was heterogeneous post-chemotherapy, we observed a change in the ThICOS+:Treg ratio which resulted in ThICOS+ cells outnumbering Treg cells post-treatment. Spatial analysis revealed the proximity of Treg cells to ThICOS+ T cells decreased post-treatment. We also observed upward shifts in Teff:Treg T cell ratios with retention of immune checkpoints PD-1, LAG3 and GITR.
    Conclusions: In this unique dataset of pre and post matched chemotherapy treated HGSOC patients, we observed changes in immune cell subsets expressing repressive or stimulatory proteins resulting in immune compositions more favorable to checkpoint modulations, suggesting novel therapeutic strategies in the recurrent setting.
    Keywords:  Immunotherapy; Ovarian cancer; Tumor microenvironment
  9. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Feb 01. 5(2): e2147343
      Importance: Opportunistic salpingectomy (OS), which is the removal of fallopian tubes during hysterectomy or instead of tubal ligation without removal of ovaries, is recommended to prevent ovarian cancer, particularly serous ovarian cancer. However, the effectiveness of OS is still undetermined.Objective: To examine observed vs expected rates of ovarian cancer among individuals who have undergone OS.
    Design, Setting, and Participants: This is a population-based, retrospective cohort study of all individuals in British Columbia, Canada, who underwent OS or a control surgery (hysterectomy alone or tubal ligation) between 2008 and 2017, with follow-up until December 31, 2017. Those with any gynecological cancer diagnosed before or within 6 months of their procedure were excluded. Data analysis was performed from April to August 2021.
    Exposures: Removal of both fallopian tubes at the time of hysterectomy or instead of tubal ligation while leaving ovaries intact.
    Main Outcomes and Measures: An ovarian cancer diagnosis listed in the British Columbia Cancer Registry. Age-specific rates of epithelial and serous ovarian cancer in the control group were combined with the specific follow-up time in the OS group to calculate expected numbers (and 95% CIs) of ovarian cancers in the OS group. These were compared with observed numbers. Age-adjusted expected and observed numbers of breast and colorectal cancers were also examined in the OS group.
    Results: There were 25 889 individuals who underwent OS (mean [SD] age, 40.2 [7.1] years; median [IQR] follow-up, 3.2 [1.6-5.1] years) and 32 080 who underwent hysterectomy alone or tubal ligation (mean [SD] age, 38.2 [7.9] years; median [IQR] follow-up, 7.3 [4.6-8.7] years). There were no serous ovarian cancers in the OS group and 5 or fewer epithelial ovarian cancers. The age-adjusted expected number was 5.27 (95% CI, 1.78-19.29) serous cancers and 8.68 (95% CI, 3.36-26.58) epithelial ovarian cancers. Age-adjusted expected vs observed numbers of breast cancers (22.1 expected vs 23 observed) and colorectal cancers (9.35 expected vs 8 observed) were not significantly different.
    Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, the OS group had significantly fewer serous and epithelial ovarian cancers than were expected according to the rate at which they arose in the control group. These findings suggest that OS is associated with reduced ovarian cancer risk.