Circulating tumor DNA as a preoperative marker of recurrence in patients with peritoneal metastases of colorectal cancer: A clinical feasibility study

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Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (CRS-HIPEC) may be curative for colorectal cancer patients with peritoneal metastases (PMs) but it has a high rate of morbidity. Accurate preoperative patient selection is therefore imperative, but is constrained by the limitations of current imaging techniques. In this pilot study, we explored the feasibility of circulating tumor (ct) DNA analysis to select patients for CRS-HIPEC. Thirty patients eligible for CRS-HIPEC provided blood samples preoperatively and during follow-up if the procedure was completed. Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) of DNA from PMs was used to identify bespoke mutations that were subsequently tested in corresponding plasma cell-free (cf) DNA samples using droplet digital (dd) PCR. CtDNA was detected preoperatively in cfDNA samples from 33% of patients and was associated with a reduced disease-free survival (DFS) after CRS-HIPEC (median 6.0 months vs median not reached, p = 0.016). This association could indicate the presence of undiagnosed systemic metastases or an increased metastatic potential of the tumors. We demonstrate the feasibility of ctDNA to serve as a preoperative marker of recurrence in patients with PMs of colorectal cancer using a highly sensitive technique. A more appropriate treatment for patients with preoperative ctDNA detection may be systemic chemotherapy in addition to, or instead of, CRS-HIPEC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1738
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020

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