Mark Lupo, Richard Guttler, Zsofia Geck, Theresa R. Tonozzi, Anja Kammesheidt, and Glenn D. Braunstein (2018) IS MEASUREMENT OF CIRCULATING TUMOR DNA OF DIAGNOSTIC USE IN PATIENTS WITH THYROID NODULES?. Endocrine Practice: May 2018, Vol. 24, No. 5, pp. 453-459.
Objective: Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), a subset of cell-free DNA (cfDNA), is a potential biomarker for thyroid cancer. We determined the performance of a ctDNA panel for detecting thyroid malignancy in patients with thyroid nodules.
Methods: Sixty-six patients with thyroid nodules without a prior history of cancer enrolled in a prospective, 1-year study in which blood was drawn for ctDNA analysis prior to undergoing fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of thyroid nodules. The ctDNA panel consisted of 96-mutations in 9 cancer driver genes. The primary outcome measures were the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) of our ctDNA panel for the diagnosis of thyroid malignancy as determined by pathologic and/or molecular tissue examination.
Results: Results from 10 subjects could not be determined due to inadequate volume or technical issues. The final classifications of the thyroid nodules were 13 malignant and 43 benign lesions. A KRAS G12V mutation was detected in the plasma of 1 patient with stage IVA papillary carcinoma whose tissue contained the same mutation. Two of the 43 patients with benign lesions also had ctDNA detected, giving a sensitivity of 7.7%, specificity of 95.35%, PPV of 33.33%, and NPV of 77.35%. There were no significant differences between benign or malignant lesions in cfDNA levels.
Conclusion: Neither cfDNA measurements nor our panel of ctDNA mutations are sensitive or specific enough to provide valuable information over FNAB. An expanded panel and the inclusion of proteomics may improve sensitivity and specificity for thyroid cancer detection.
Abbreviations: cfDNA = cell-free DNA; ctDNA = circulating tumor DNA; FNAB = fine-needle aspiration biopsy; NIFTP = noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features
Received: January 29, 2018; Accepted: February 23, 2018; Published: March 2, 2018
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