Chromosomal instability in cell-free DNA as a highly specific biomarker for detection of ovarian cancer in women with adnexal masses Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Chromosomal instability in cell-free DNA as a highly specific biomarker for detection of ovarian cancer in women with adnexal masses



 Cell-free or circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is tumour DNA circulating freely in the blood of a cancer patient.
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abstract

Purpose: Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of ovarian cancer. Here, we explore copy number alteration (CNA) profiling in cell-free DNA as a potential biomarker to detect malignancy in patients presenting with an adnexal mass. 

Experimental design: We prospectively enrolled 68 patients with an adnexal mass, of which 57 were diagnosed with invasive or borderline carcinoma and 11 with benign disease. Cell-free DNA was extracted from plasma and analyzed by low-coverage whole-genome sequencing. 

Results: Patterns of chromosomal instability were detectable in cell-free DNA using 44 healthy individuals as a reference. Profiles were representative of those observed in matching tumor tissue and contained CNAs enriched in 2 large datasets of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Quantitative measures of chromosomal instability, referred to as genome-wide z-scores, were significantly higher in patients with ovarian carcinoma than in healthy individuals or patients with benign disease. Cell-free DNA testing improved malignancy detection (AUC 0.89) over serum CA-125 (AUC 0.78) or the risk of malignancy index (RMI, AUC 0.81). AUC values of cell-free DNA testing even further increased for HGSOC patients specifically (AUC 0.94). At a specificity of 99.6%, a theoretical threshold required for ovarian cancer screening, sensitivity of cell-free DNA testing was 2 to 5-fold higher compared to CA-125 and RMI testing. 

Conclusions: This is the first study evaluating the potential of cell-free DNA for the diagnosis of primary ovarian cancer using chromosomal instability as a read-out. We present a promising method to increase specificity of presurgical prediction of malignancy in patients with adnexal masses.

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