Liquid biopsy: a multi-parametric analysis of mutation status, circulating tumor cells and inflammatory markers in EGFR-mutated NSCLC

Martin P Barr, Anne-Marie Baird, Sophia Halliday, Petra Martin, Emma H Allott, James Phelan, Greg Korpanty, Linda Coate, Cathal O'Brien, Steven G Gray, Jane S Y Sui, Brian Hayes, Sinead Cuffe, Stephen P Finn

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Abstract

The liquid biopsy has the potential to improve patient care in the diagnostic and therapeutic setting in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Consented patients with epidermal growth factor receptor ( EGFR) positive disease ( n = 21) were stratified into two cohorts: those currently receiving EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy ( n = 9) and newly diagnosed EGFR TKI treatment-naïve patients ( n = 12). Plasma genotyping of cell-free DNA was carried out using the FDA-approved cobas ®  EGFR mutation test v2 and compared to next generation sequencing (NGS) cfDNA panels. Circulating tumor cell (CTC) numbers were correlated with treatment response and EGFR exon 20 p.T790M. The prognostic significance of the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was also investigated. Patients in cohort 1 with an EGFR exon 20 p.T790M mutation progressed more rapidly than those with an EGFR sensitizing mutation, while patients in cohort 2 had a significantly longer progression-free survival ( p = 0.04). EGFR exon 20 p.T790M was detected by liquid biopsy prior to disease progression indicated by computed tomography (CT) imaging. The cobas ®  EGFR mutation test detected a significantly greater number of exon 20 p.T790M mutations ( p = 0.05). High NLR and derived neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (dNLR) were associated with shorter time to progression and worse survival outcomes ( p < 0.05). High LDH levels were significantly associated with shorter time to disease progression ( p = 0.03). These data support the use of liquid biopsy for monitoring EGFR mutations and inflammatory markers as prognostic indicators in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2360
JournalDiagnostics
Volume12
Issue number10
Early online date29 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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