The Mutational Concordance of Fixed Formalin Paraffin Embedded and Fresh Frozen Gastro-Oesophageal Tumours Using Whole Exome Sequencing.
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1.<h4>Background</h4>The application of massively parallel sequencing has led to the identification of aberrant druggable pathways and somatic mutations within therapeutically relevant genes in gastro-oesophageal cancer. Given the widespread use of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples in the study of this disease, it would be beneficial, especially for the purposes of biomarker evaluation, to assess the concordance between comprehensive exome-wide sequencing data from archival FFPE samples originating from a prospective clinical study and those derived from fresh-frozen material. 2.<h4>Methods</h4>We analysed whole-exome sequencing data to define the mutational concordance of 16 matched fresh-frozen and FFPE gastro-oesophageal tumours (<i>N</i> = 32) from a prospective clinical study. We assessed DNA integrity prior to sequencing and then identified coding mutations in genes that have previously been implicated in other cancers. In addition, we calculated the mutant-allele heterogeneity (MATH) for these samples. 3.<h4>Results</h4>Although there was increased degradation of DNA in FFPE samples compared with frozen samples, sequencing data from only two FFPE samples failed to reach an adequate mapping quality threshold. Using a filtering threshold of mutant read counts of at least ten and a minimum of 5% variant allele frequency (VAF) we found that there was a high median mutational concordance of 97% (range 80.1-98.68%) between fresh-frozen and FFPE gastro-oesophageal tumour-derived exomes. However, the majority of FFPE tumours had higher mutant-allele heterogeneity (MATH) scores when compared with corresponding frozen tumours (<i>p</i> < 0.001), suggesting that FFPE-based exome sequencing is likely to over-represent tumour heterogeneity in FFPE samples compared to fresh-frozen samples. Furthermore, we identified coding mutations in 120 cancer-related genes, including those associated with chromatin remodelling and Wnt/β-catenin and Receptor Tyrosine Kinase signalling. 4.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These data suggest that comprehensive genomic data can be generated from exome sequencing of selected DNA samples extracted from archival FFPE gastro-oesophageal tumour tissues within the context of prospective clinical trials.
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Gastrointestinal Cancers Clinical Trials
Medicine (RMH Smith Cunningham)
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Journal of clinical medicine, 2021, 10 (2)