Multi-region sequencing reveals genetic correlation between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and matched cell-free DNA.

Cancer Genetics
Zuyang YuanJie He


This study aimed to determine if both ubiquitous and heterogeneous somatic mutations could be detected in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Paired multi-regional tumor tissues, cfDNA, and white blood cells (WBCs) were collected from five ESCC patients before treatment, as part of an ongoing prospective study (NCT02395705). Samples from Cohort 1 were sequenced by whole-exome sequencing and samples from Cohort 2 were sequenced by targeted capture sequencing. Somatic single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) were detected by comparing solid tumor or cfDNA with matched WBCs, with a minimum variant allele frequency (VAF) of 0.1% and P value <0.05. Genomic DNA (gDNA) and plasma-derived cfDNA from 26 samples were sequenced successfully. In Cohort 1, a significant linear relationship between the tumor and cfDNA VAFs (R2= 0.78, P < 0.0001) was found. In Cohort 2, cfDNA could recover an average of 60.7% (31/51; range, 35.7-76.2%) of somatic mutations present in matched solid tumors. There was a significant positive correlation in VAFs between cfDNA and matched solid tumor tissues (R2= 0.92, P < 0.0001). Both sequencing approaches revealed high intratumoral heterogeneity in ESCC, and e...Continue Reading

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