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Article

Early, On-Treatment Levels and Dynamic Changes of Genomic Instability in Circulating Tumor DNA Predict Response to Treatment and Outcome in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

1
Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC H3T 1E2, Canada
2
Laboratory Corporation of America, Burlington, NC 27216-2240, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giulia Siravegna
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061331
Received: 17 February 2021 / Revised: 11 March 2021 / Accepted: 13 March 2021 / Published: 16 March 2021
Liquid biopsies offer the opportunity to monitor cancer progression and the response to treatment with a simple blood test. However, most of the technologies available analyze specific molecular alterations or require tumor tissue for analysis, which is very difficult to obtain in metastatic patients. In this study, we made use of a novel method that allows to measure the overall molecular tumor changes in a blood sample without the need for tissue or to look for specific molecular alterations. We demonstrated the ability of this method to very early monitor the treatment clinical response and progression in a cohort of metastatic breast cancer patients.
Background: Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) offers high sensitivity and specificity in metastatic cancer. However, many ctDNA assays rely on specific mutations in recurrent genes or require the sequencing of tumor tissue, difficult to do in a metastatic disease. The purpose of this study was to define the predictive and prognostic values of the whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of ctDNA in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Methods: Plasma from 25 patients with MBC were taken at the baseline, prior to treatment (T0), one week (T1) and two weeks (T2) after treatment initiation and subjected to low-pass WGS. DNA copy number changes were used to calculate a Genomic Instability Number (GIN). A minimum predefined GIN value of 170 indicated detectable ctDNA. GIN values were correlated with the treatment response at three and six months by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours assessed by imaging (RECIST) criteria and with overall survival (OS). Results: GIN values were detectable (>170) in 64% of patients at the baseline and were significantly prognostic (41 vs. 18 months OS for nondetectable vs. detectable GIN). Detectable GIN values at T1 and T2 were significantly associated with poor OS. Declines in GIN at T1 and T2 of > 50% compared to the baseline were associated with three-month response and, in the case of T1, with OS. On the other hand, a rise in GIN at T2 was associated with a poor response at three months. Conclusions: Very early measurements using WGS of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from the plasma of MBC patients provided a tumor biopsy-free approach to ctDNA measurement that was both predictive of the early tumor response at three months and prognostic. View Full-Text
Keywords: ctDNA; metastasis; whole-genome sequencing; plasma; breast cancer; genomic instability; clinical response ctDNA; metastasis; whole-genome sequencing; plasma; breast cancer; genomic instability; clinical response
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aguilar-Mahecha, A.; Lafleur, J.; Brousse, S.; Savichtcheva, O.; Holden, K.A.; Faulkner, N.; McLennan, G.; Jensen, T.J.; Basik, M. Early, On-Treatment Levels and Dynamic Changes of Genomic Instability in Circulating Tumor DNA Predict Response to Treatment and Outcome in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients. Cancers 2021, 13, 1331. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061331

AMA Style

Aguilar-Mahecha A, Lafleur J, Brousse S, Savichtcheva O, Holden KA, Faulkner N, McLennan G, Jensen TJ, Basik M. Early, On-Treatment Levels and Dynamic Changes of Genomic Instability in Circulating Tumor DNA Predict Response to Treatment and Outcome in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients. Cancers. 2021; 13(6):1331. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061331

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aguilar-Mahecha, Adriana, Josiane Lafleur, Susie Brousse, Olga Savichtcheva, Kimberly A. Holden, Nathan Faulkner, Graham McLennan, Taylor J. Jensen, and Mark Basik. 2021. "Early, On-Treatment Levels and Dynamic Changes of Genomic Instability in Circulating Tumor DNA Predict Response to Treatment and Outcome in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients" Cancers 13, no. 6: 1331. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061331

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