Preoperative ctDNA Levels are Associated with Poor Overall Survival in Patients with Ovarian Cancer


Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), which is shed from cancer cells into the bloodstream, offers a potential minimally invasive approach for cancer diagnosis and monitoring. This research aimed to assess the preoperative ctDNA levels in ovarian tumors patients’ plasma and establish correlations with clinicopathological parameters and patient prognosis.
Patients and Methods
Tumor DNA was extracted from ovarian tumor tissue from 41 patients. Targeted sequencing using a panel of 127 genes recurrently mutated in cancer was performed to identify candidate somatic mutations in the tumor DNA. SAGAsafe digital PCR (dPCR) assays targeting the candidate mutations were used to measure ctDNA levels in patient plasma samples, obtained prior to surgery, to evaluate ctDNA levels in terms of mutant copy number/ml and variant allele frequency.
Somatic mutations were found in 24 tumor samples, 17 of which were from ovarian cancer patients. The most frequently mutated gene was TP53. Preoperative plasma ctDNA levels were detected in 14 of the 24 patients. With higher stage, plasma ctDNA mutant concentration increased (p for trend <0.001). The overall survival of cancer patients with more than 10 ctDNA mutant copies/ml in plasma was significantly worse (p=0.008).
Pre-operative ctDNA measurement in ovarian cancer patients’ plasma holds promise as a predictive biomarker for tumor staging and prognosis.

Cancer Genomics & Proteomics, 2023. 20(6suppl):763-770
Christian Brueffer
Christian Brueffer
Bioinformatician and Data Scientist

Freelance Bioinformatician and Data Scientist with interests including disease biology and diagnostics, particularly in cancer, and open source bioinformatics.