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Multiplex Gene Profiling of Cell-Free DNA in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma for Monitoring Disease
JCO Precision Oncology (2018)
  • Selena Y Yin, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Sharon K. Huang, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Kelly T. Huynh, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Matthew P. Salomon, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Diego M. Marzese, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Dave S.B. Hoon, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Shu-Ching Chang, Providence St. Joseph Health
Hotspot blood cell-free DNA (cfDNA) biomarker assays have limited utility in profiling tumor heterogeneity and burden and in capturing regional metastasis with low disease burden in patients with melanoma. We investigated the utility of a sensitive 54–cancer gene digital next-generation sequencing approach targeting blood cfDNA single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and copy number amplification for monitoring disease in patients with melanoma with regional or distant organ metastasis (DOM).

Patients and Methods
A total of 142 blood samples were evaluated by digital next-generation sequencing across two patient cohorts. Cohort 1 contained 44 patients with stage II, III, or IV disease with matched tumor DNA at the time of surgery or DOM. Cohort 2 consisted of 12 overlapping patients who were longitudinally monitored after complete lymph node dissection to DOM.

In cohort 1, cfDNA SNVs were detected in 75% of patients. Tumor-cfDNA somatic SNV concordance was 85% at a variant allele fraction of ≥ 0.5%. An SNV load (number of unique SNVs detected) of greater than two SNVs and an SNV burden (total cumulative SNV VAF) of > 0.5% were significantly associated with worse overall survival (P < .05) in stage IV patients. In cohort 2, 98 longitudinal blood samples along with matched regional and distant metastases from 12 stage III patients were analyzed before complete lymph node dissection and throughout disease progression. cfDNA SNV levels correlated with tumor burden (P = .019), enabled earlier detection of recurrence compared with radiologic imaging (P < .01), captured tumor heterogeneity, and identified increasing SNVs levels before recurrence.

This study demonstrates significant utility for cfDNA profiling in patients with melanoma with regional and/or distant metastasis for earlier detection of recurrence and progression and in capturing tumor evolution and heterogeneity, thus impacting how patients with melanoma are monitored.
Publication Date
May, 2018
Citation Information
Selena Y Yin, Sharon K. Huang, Kelly T. Huynh, Matthew P. Salomon, et al.. "Multiplex Gene Profiling of Cell-Free DNA in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma for Monitoring Disease" JCO Precision Oncology (2018) ISSN: 2473-4284
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