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      Guide to detecting epidermal growth factor receptor ( EGFR) mutations in ctDNA of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

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          Abstract

          Cancer treatment is evolving towards therapies targeted at specific molecular abnormalities that drive tumor growth. Consequently, to determine which patients are eligible, accurate assessment of molecular aberrations within tumors is required. Obtaining sufficient tumor tissue for molecular testing can present challenges; therefore, circulating free tumor-derived DNA (ctDNA) found in blood plasma has been proposed as an alternative source of tumor DNA. The diagnostic utility of ctDNA for the detection of epidermal growth factor receptor ( EGFR) mutations harbored in tumors of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is supported by the results of several large studies/meta-analyses. However, recent real-world studies suggest that the performance of ctDNA testing varies between geographic regions/laboratories, demonstrating the need for standardized guidance. In this review, we outline recommendations for obtaining an accurate result using ctDNA, relating to pre-analytical plasma processing, ctDNA extraction, and appropriate EGFR mutation detection methods, based on clinical trial results. We conclude that there are several advantages associated with ctDNA, including the potential for repeated sampling particularly following progression after first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy, as TKIs targeting resistance mutations (eg T790M) are now approved for use in the USA/EU/Japan (at time of writing). However, evidence suggests that ctDNA does not allow detection of EGFR mutations in all patients with known mutation-positive NSCLC. Therefore, although tumor tissue should be the first sample choice for EGFR testing at diagnosis, ctDNA is a promising alternative diagnostic approach.

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          Most cited references 75

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          Molecular testing guideline for selection of lung cancer patients for EGFR and ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors: guideline from the College of American Pathologists, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and Association for Molecular Pathology.

          To establish evidence-based recommendations for the molecular analysis of lung cancers that are that are required to guide EGFR- and ALK-directed therapies, addressing which patients and samples should be tested, and when and how testing should be performed. Three cochairs without conflicts of interest were selected, one from each of the 3 sponsoring professional societies: College of American Pathologists, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and Association for Molecular Pathology. Writing and advisory panels were constituted from additional experts from these societies. Three unbiased literature searches of electronic databases were performed to capture articles published published from January 2004 through February 2012, yielding 1533 articles whose abstracts were screened to identify 521 pertinent articles that were then reviewed in detail for their relevance to the recommendations. Evidence was formally graded for each recommendation. Initial recommendations were formulated by the cochairs and panel members at a public meeting. Each guideline section was assigned to at least 2 panelists. Drafts were circulated to the writing panel (version 1), advisory panel (version 2), and the public (version 3) before submission (version 4). The 37 guideline items address 14 subjects, including 15 recommendations (evidence grade A/B). The major recommendations are to use testing for EGFR mutations and ALK fusions to guide patient selection for therapy with an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, respectively, in all patients with advanced-stage adenocarcinoma, regardless of sex, race, smoking history, or other clinical risk factors, and to prioritize EGFR and ALK testing over other molecular predictive tests. As scientific discoveries and clinical practice outpace the completion of randomized clinical trials, evidence-based guidelines developed by expert practitioners are vital for communicating emerging clinical standards. Already, new treatments targeting genetic alterations in other, less common driver oncogenes are being evaluated in lung cancer, and testing for these may be addressed in future versions of these guidelines.
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            Transforming single DNA molecules into fluorescent magnetic particles for detection and enumeration of genetic variations.

            Many areas of biomedical research depend on the analysis of uncommon variations in individual genes or transcripts. Here we describe a method that can quantify such variation at a scale and ease heretofore unattainable. Each DNA molecule in a collection of such molecules is converted into a single magnetic particle to which thousands of copies of DNA identical in sequence to the original are bound. This population of beads then corresponds to a one-to-one representation of the starting DNA molecules. Variation within the original population of DNA molecules can then be simply assessed by counting fluorescently labeled particles via flow cytometry. This approach is called BEAMing on the basis of four of its principal components (beads, emulsion, amplification, and magnetics). Millions of individual DNA molecules can be assessed in this fashion with standard laboratory equipment. Moreover, specific variants can be isolated by flow sorting and used for further experimentation. BEAMing can be used for the identification and quantification of rare mutations as well as to study variations in gene sequences or transcripts in specific populations or tissues.
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              Circulating tumour DNA profiling reveals heterogeneity of EGFR inhibitor resistance mechanisms in lung cancer patients

              Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis facilitates studies of tumour heterogeneity. Here we employ CAPP-Seq ctDNA analysis to study resistance mechanisms in 43 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with the third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor rociletinib. We observe multiple resistance mechanisms in 46% of patients after treatment with first-line inhibitors, indicating frequent intra-patient heterogeneity. Rociletinib resistance recurrently involves MET, EGFR, PIK3CA, ERRB2, KRAS and RB1. We describe a novel EGFR L798I mutation and find that EGFR C797S, which arises in ∼33% of patients after osimertinib treatment, occurs in <3% after rociletinib. Increased MET copy number is the most frequent rociletinib resistance mechanism in this cohort and patients with multiple pre-existing mechanisms (T790M and MET) experience inferior responses. Similarly, rociletinib-resistant xenografts develop MET amplification that can be overcome with the MET inhibitor crizotinib. These results underscore the importance of tumour heterogeneity in NSCLC and the utility of ctDNA-based resistance mechanism assessment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Oncotarget
                Oncotarget
                Oncotarget
                ImpactJ
                Oncotarget
                Impact Journals LLC
                1949-2553
                14 February 2017
                12 December 2016
                : 8
                : 7
                : 12501-12516
                Affiliations
                1 Cell Biology and Biotherapy Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori Fondazione Giovanni Pascale, IRCCS, Napoli, Italy
                2 Department of Biochemistry, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France
                3 AstraZeneca, Waltham, MA, USA
                4 AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, UK
                5 Department of Thoracic Oncology, LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), Member of the German Centre for Lung Research (DZL), Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Nicola Normanno, nicnorm@ 123456yahoo.com
                Article
                13915
                10.18632/oncotarget.13915
                5355360
                27980215
                Copyright: © 2017 Normanno et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Categories
                Review

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                t790m, ctdna, nsclc, egfr

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