Early detection of residual breast cancer through a robust, scalable and personalized analysis of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) antedates overt metastatic recurrence
Armstrong, Anne C
AffiliationImperial College London, London
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AbstractBackground: Many breast cancer patients relapse after primary treatment but there are no reliable tests to detect distant metastases before they become overt. Here we show earlier identification of recurring patients through a scalable personalised ctDNA analysis. The method is applicable to all patients, and not limited to hot-spot mutations typically detected by gene panels. Methods: Forty-nine non-metastatic breast cancer patients were recruited following surgery and adjuvant therapy. Plasma samples (n=208) were serially collected semi-annually. Using the analytically validated SignateraTM workflow, we determined mutational signatures from primary tumour whole exome data and designed personalised assays targeting 16 variants with high sensitivity by ultra-deep sequencing (average >100,000X). The patient-specific assay was used to detect the presence of the mutational signature in the plasma. Results: In 16 of 18 (89%) clinically-relapsing patients, ctDNA was detected ahead of metastatic relapse being diagnosed by clinical examination, radiological and biochemical (CA15-3) measurements, and remained ctDNA-positive through follow-up. Of the 2 patients not detected by ctDNA, one had a small local recurrence only (now resected) and the other had three primary tumours. None of the 31 non-relapsing patients were ctDNA-positive at any time point (n=142). Metastatic relapse was predicted by Signatera with high accuracy and a lead time of up to 2 years (median=9.5 months). Conclusions: The use of a scalable patient-specific ctDNA-based validated workflow detects breast cancer recurrence ahead of clinical detection. Accurate and earlier prediction by ctDNA analysis could provide a means of monitoring breast cancer patients in need of second-line salvage adjuvant therapy in order to prevent overt life-threatening metastatic progression.
CitationCoombes RC, Armstrong A, Ahmed S, Page K, Hastings RK, Salari R, et al. Abstract P4-01-02: Early detection of residual breast cancer through a robust, scalable and personalized analysis of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) antedates overt metastatic recurrence. Cancer Res. 2019;79(4):P4-01-2-P4--2.
TypeMeetings and Proceedings