Cell-Free DNA Sequencing Reveals Gene Variants in DNA Damage Repair Genes Associated with Prognosis of Prostate Cancer Patients.

In the present study, we further analyzed the data obtained in our previous study, where we investigated the cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of 34 progressive prostate cancer patients via targeted sequencing. Here, we studied the occurrence and prognostic impact of sequence variants according to their clinical pathological significance (CPS) or their functional impact (FI) in 23 DNA damage repair (DDR) genes with a focus on the ATM serine/threonine kinase gene (ATM). All patients had at least one DDR gene with a CPS or FI variant. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that the group with a higher number of CPS variants in DDR genes had a shorter time to treatment change (TTC) compared to the group with a lower number of CPS variants (p = 0.038). Analysis of each DDR gene revealed that CPS variants in the ATM gene and FI variants in the nibrin (NBN) gene showed a shorter TTC (p = 0.034 and p = 0.042). In addition, patients with CPS variants in the ATM gene had shorter overall survival (OS; p = 0.022) and disease-specific survival (DSS; p = 0.010) than patients without these variants. Interestingly, patients with CPS variants in seven DDR genes possessed a better OS (p = 0.008) and DSS (p = 0.009), and patients with FI variants in four DDR genes showed a better OS (p = 0.007) and DSS (p = 0.008). Together, these findings demonstrated that the analysis of cfDNA for gene variants in DDR genes provides prognostic information that may be helpful for future temporal and targeted treatment decisions for advanced PCa patients.

Cells. 2022 Nov 15*** epublish ***

Verena Lieb, Amer Abdulrahman, Katrin Weigelt, Siegfried Hauch, Michael Gombert, Juan Guzman, Laura Bellut, Peter J Goebell, Robert Stöhr, Arndt Hartmann, Bernd Wullich, Helge Taubert, Sven Wach

Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany., QIAGEN GmbH, 40724 Hilden, Germany., Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-EMN (CCC ER-EMN), 91054 Erlangen, Germany.