Diagnostic value of increased sensitivity by massively parallel sequencing

Matthew Alderdice, Perry Maxwell, Victoria Coyle, Richard Wilson, Manuel Salto-Tellez

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Routine molecular diagnostics modalities are unable to confidently detect low frequency mutations (<5-15%) that may indicate response to targeted therapies. We confirm the presence of a low frequency NRAS mutation in a rectal cancer patient using massively parallel sequencing when previous Sanger sequencing results proved negative and Q-PCR testing inconclusive. There is increasing evidence that these low frequency mutations may confer resistance to anti-EGFR therapy. In view of negative/inconclusive Sanger sequencing and Q-PCR results for NRAS mutations in a KRAS wt rectal case, the diagnostic biopsy and 4 distinct subpopulations of cells in the resection specimen after conventional chemo/radiotherapy were massively parallel sequenced using the Ion Torrent PGM. DNA was derived from FFPE rectal cancer tissue and amplicons produced using the Cancer Hotspot Panel V2 and sequenced using semiconductor technology. NRAS mutations were observed at varying frequencies in the patient biopsy (12.2%) and all four subpopulations of cells in the resection with an average frequency of 7.3% (lowest 2.6%). The results of the NGS also provided the mutational status of 49 other genes that may have prognostic or predictive value, including KRAS and PIK3CA. NGS technology has been postulated in diagnostics because of its capability to generate results in large panels of clinically meaningful genes in a cost-effective manner. This case illustrates another potential advantage of this technology: its use for detecting low frequency mutations that may influence therapeutic decisions in cancer treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 03 Nov 2014
EventNCRI Annual Meeting 2014 - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 02 Nov 201405 Nov 2014


ConferenceNCRI Annual Meeting 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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