Research Papers:

Circulating tumor DNA detection in head and neck cancer: evaluation of two different detection approaches

Sandra Perdomo, Patrice H. Avogbe, Matthieu Foll, Behnoush Abedi-Ardekani, Violeta Lescher Facciolla, Devasena Anantharaman, Priscilia Chopard, Florence Le Calvez-Kelm, Marta Vilensky, Jerry Polesel, Ivana Holcatova, Lorenzo Simonato, Cristina Canova, Pagona Lagiou, James D. McKay and Paul Brennan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:72621-72632. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20004

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Sandra Perdomo1,2,*, Patrice H. Avogbe1,*, Matthieu Foll1, Behnoush Abedi-Ardekani1, Violeta Lescher Facciolla3, Devasena Anantharaman1,9, Priscilia Chopard1, Florence Le Calvez-Kelm1, Marta Vilensky4, Jerry Polesel5, Ivana Holcatova6, Lorenzo Simonato7, Cristina Canova7, Pagona Lagiou8, James D. McKay1 and Paul Brennan1

1International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon 69372, France

2Institute of Nutrition, Genetics and Metabolism Research, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad El Bosque, Bogotá 110121, Colombia

3Departamento de Saúde Coletiva, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo, São Paulo CEP01221-020, Brazil

4Instituto Angel Roffo, Buenos Aires C1417DTB, Argentina

5CRO Aviano National Cancer Institute, Aviano 33081, Italy

6Charles University, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Prague 116 36, Czech Republic

7Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, University of Padova, Padova 35122, Italy

8Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece

9Current/present address: Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum 695010, India

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Paul Brennan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: ctDNA, head and neck, cancer, mutation, detection

Abbreviations: cfDNA: cell free DNA; ctDNA: circulating tumor DNA; HNSCC: head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; AF: allelic frequency

Received: April 27, 2017     Accepted: July 12, 2017     Published: August 07, 2017


The use of non-invasive biomarkers such as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in head and neck tumors may be of relevance in early diagnosis and eventually improved outcome. We evaluated two different approaches from two case series in Europe and South America including (i) targeted screening of ctDNA mutations, and (ii) detection of TP53 mutations in plasma and oral rinses without previous knowledge of mutational status in tumor samples. Targeted sequencing in 5 genes identified ctDNA mutations in plasma among 42% of HNSCC cases, 67% of who were early stage cases. No association was found between ctDNA mutation detection and overall survival. Sequencing of the entire coding region of the TP53 gene resulted in identification of TP53 mutations in 76% of tumor cases. However, concordance of mutation detection was low between tumor, oral rinses (11%) and plasma (2,7%) samples. Identification of 5 pathogenic TP53 mutations in oral rinses from 3 non-cancer controls gives additional evidence of mutation occurrence in individuals without a diagnosed cancer and presents an additional challenge for the development of ctDNA diagnostic assays.

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