Cancers of unknown primary (CUPs) comprise a heterogeneous group of rare metastatic tumors whose primary site cannot be identified after extensive clinical–pathological investigations. CUP patients are generally treated with empirical chemotherapy and have dismal prognosis. As recently reported, CUP genome presents potentially druggable alterations for which targeted therapies could be proposed. The paucity of tumor tissue, as well as the difficult DNA testing and the lack of dedicated panels for target gene sequencing are further relevant limitations. Here, we propose that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) could be used to identify actionable mutations in CUP patients. Blood was longitudinally collected from two CUP patients. CTCs were isolated with CELLSEARCH® and DEPArrayTM NxT and Parsortix systems, immunophenotypically characterized and used for single-cell genomic characterization with Ampli1TM kits. Circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA), purified from plasma at different time points, was tested for tumor mutations with a CUP-dedicated, 92-gene custom panel using SureSelect Target Enrichment technology. In parallel, FFPE tumor tissue was analyzed with three different assays: FoundationOne CDx assay, DEPArray LibPrep and OncoSeek Panel, and the SureSelect custom panel. These approaches identified the same mutations, when the gene was covered by the panel, with the exception of an insertion in APC gene. which was detected by OncoSeek and SureSelect panels but not FoundationOne. FGFR2 and CCNE1 gene amplifications were detected in single CTCs, tumor tissue, and ccfDNAs in one patient. A somatic variant in ARID1A gene (p.R1276∗) was detected in the tumor tissue and ccfDNAs. The alterations were validated by Droplet Digital PCR in all ccfDNA samples collected during tumor evolution. CTCs from a second patient presented a pattern of recurrent amplifications in ASPM and SEPT9 genes and loss of FANCC. The 92-gene custom panel identified 16 non-synonymous somatic alterations in ccfDNA, including a deletion (I1485Rfs∗19) and a somatic mutation (p. A1487V) in ARID1A gene and a point mutation in FGFR2 gene (p.G384R). Our results support the feasibility of non-invasive liquid biopsy testing in CUP cases, either using ctDNA or CTCs, to identify CUP genetic alterations with broad NGS panels covering the most frequently mutated genes.

Genetic Characterization of Cancer of Unknown Primary Using Liquid Biopsy Approaches

Laprovitera N.
Primo
;
Salamon I.;Gelsomino F.;Porcellini E.;Riefolo M.;Valente S.;D'Errico A.;Pantaleo M. A.;Ardizzoni A.;Ferracin M.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Cancers of unknown primary (CUPs) comprise a heterogeneous group of rare metastatic tumors whose primary site cannot be identified after extensive clinical–pathological investigations. CUP patients are generally treated with empirical chemotherapy and have dismal prognosis. As recently reported, CUP genome presents potentially druggable alterations for which targeted therapies could be proposed. The paucity of tumor tissue, as well as the difficult DNA testing and the lack of dedicated panels for target gene sequencing are further relevant limitations. Here, we propose that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) could be used to identify actionable mutations in CUP patients. Blood was longitudinally collected from two CUP patients. CTCs were isolated with CELLSEARCH® and DEPArrayTM NxT and Parsortix systems, immunophenotypically characterized and used for single-cell genomic characterization with Ampli1TM kits. Circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA), purified from plasma at different time points, was tested for tumor mutations with a CUP-dedicated, 92-gene custom panel using SureSelect Target Enrichment technology. In parallel, FFPE tumor tissue was analyzed with three different assays: FoundationOne CDx assay, DEPArray LibPrep and OncoSeek Panel, and the SureSelect custom panel. These approaches identified the same mutations, when the gene was covered by the panel, with the exception of an insertion in APC gene. which was detected by OncoSeek and SureSelect panels but not FoundationOne. FGFR2 and CCNE1 gene amplifications were detected in single CTCs, tumor tissue, and ccfDNAs in one patient. A somatic variant in ARID1A gene (p.R1276∗) was detected in the tumor tissue and ccfDNAs. The alterations were validated by Droplet Digital PCR in all ccfDNA samples collected during tumor evolution. CTCs from a second patient presented a pattern of recurrent amplifications in ASPM and SEPT9 genes and loss of FANCC. The 92-gene custom panel identified 16 non-synonymous somatic alterations in ccfDNA, including a deletion (I1485Rfs∗19) and a somatic mutation (p. A1487V) in ARID1A gene and a point mutation in FGFR2 gene (p.G384R). Our results support the feasibility of non-invasive liquid biopsy testing in CUP cases, either using ctDNA or CTCs, to identify CUP genetic alterations with broad NGS panels covering the most frequently mutated genes.
Laprovitera N.; Salamon I.; Gelsomino F.; Porcellini E.; Riefolo M.; Garonzi M.; Tononi P.; Valente S.; Sabbioni S.; Fontana F.; Manaresi N.; D'Errico A.; Pantaleo M.A.; Ardizzoni A.; Ferracin M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/829287
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