bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2022‒08‒28
three papers selected by
Lara Paracchini
Humanitas Research

  1. Nat Commun. 2022 Aug 23. 13(1): 4953
      Mutational signatures accumulate in somatic cells as an admixture of endogenous and exogenous processes that occur during an individual's lifetime. Since dividing cells release cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragments into the circulation, we hypothesize that plasma cfDNA might reflect mutational signatures. Point mutations in plasma whole genome sequencing (WGS) are challenging to identify through conventional mutation calling due to low sequencing coverage and low mutant allele fractions. In this proof of concept study of plasma WGS at 0.3-1.5x coverage from 215 patients and 227 healthy individuals, we show that both pathological and physiological mutational signatures may be identified in plasma. By applying machine learning to mutation profiles, patients with stage I-IV cancer can be distinguished from healthy individuals with an Area Under the Curve of 0.96. Interrogating mutational processes in plasma may enable earlier cancer detection, and might enable the assessment of cancer risk and etiology.