Allele-informed copy number evaluation of plasma DNA samples from metastatic prostate cancer patients: the PCF_SELECT consortium assay.

Sequencing of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in cancer patients' plasma offers a minimally-invasive solution to detect tumor cell genomic alterations to aid real-time clinical decision-making. The reliability of copy number detection decreases at lower cfDNA tumor fractions, limiting utility at earlier stages of the disease. To test a novel strategy for detection of allelic imbalance, we developed a prostate cancer bespoke assay, PCF_SELECT, that includes an innovative sequencing panel covering ∼25 000 high minor allele frequency SNPs and tailored analytical solutions to enable allele-informed evaluation. First, we assessed it on plasma samples from 50 advanced prostate cancer patients. We then confirmed improved detection of genomic alterations in samples with <10% tumor fractions when compared against an independent assay. Finally, we applied PCF_SELECT to serial plasma samples intensively collected from three patients previously characterized as harboring alterations involving DNA repair genes and consequently offered PARP inhibition. We identified more extensive pan-genome allelic imbalance than previously recognized in prostate cancer. We confirmed high sensitivity detection of BRCA2 allelic imbalance with decreasing tumor fractions resultant from treatment and identified complex ATM genomic states that may be incongruent with protein losses. Overall, we present a framework for sensitive detection of allele-specific copy number changes in cfDNA.

NAR cancer. 2022 May 27*** epublish ***

Francesco Orlando, Alessandro Romanel, Blanca Trujillo, Michael Sigouros, Daniel Wetterskog, Orsetta Quaini, Gianmarco Leone, Jenny Z Xiang, Anna Wingate, Scott Tagawa, Anuradha Jayaram, Mark Linch, PEACE Consortium , Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, Charles Swanton, Mark A Rubin, Alexander W Wyatt, Himisha Beltran, Gerhardt Attard, Francesca Demichelis

Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology, University of Trento, Trento, Italy., UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London, UK., Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine, NY, USA., The Genomics Resources Core Facility, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medicine. NY, NY, USA., Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Cornell Medicine. NY, NY, USA., Department of Medical Oncology, University College London Hospitals, London NW1 2BU, UK., Department for BioMedical Research and Bern Center of Precision Medicine, University of Bern and Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland., Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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