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Dynamic changes in longitudinal circulating tumour DNA profile during metastatic colorectal cancer treatment
Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) has been spotlighted as an attractive biomarker because of its easy accessibility and real-time representation of tumour genetic profile.
However, the clinical utility of longitudinal ctDNA monitoring has not been clearly defined.
Serial blood samples were obtained from metastatic colorectal cancer patients undergoing first-line chemotherapy.
ctDNA was sequenced using a targeted next-generation sequencing platform which included 106 genes.
Changes in ctDNA profile and treatment outcome were comprehensively analysed.
A total of 272 samples from 62 patients were analysed.
In all, 90.3% of patients had detectable ctDNA mutation before treatment.
ctDNA clearance after chemotherapy was associated with longer progression-free survival which was independent of radiological response (adjusted hazard ratio 0.22, 95% confidence interval 0.10–0.46).
Longitudinal monitoring was able to detect ctDNA progression which preceded radiological progressive disease (PD) in 58.1% (median 3.3 months).
Diverse resistant mutations (34.9%) and gene amplification (7.0%) at the time of PD were discovered.
For 16.3% of the PD patients, the newly identified mutations could be potential candidates of targeted therapy or clinical trial.
ctDNA profile provided a more accurate landscape of tumour and dynamic changes compared to radiological evaluation.
Longitudinal ctDNA monitoring may improve personalised treatment decision-making.