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Abnormal plasma DNA profiles in early ovarian cancer using a non-invasive prenatal testing platform: implications for cancer screening

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, August 2016
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Abnormal plasma DNA profiles in early ovarian cancer using a non-invasive prenatal testing platform: implications for cancer screening
Published in
BMC Medicine, August 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12916-016-0667-6
Pubmed ID

Paul A. Cohen, Nicola Flowers, Stephen Tong, Natalie Hannan, Mark D. Pertile, Lisa Hui


Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) identifies fetal aneuploidy by sequencing cell-free DNA in the maternal plasma. Pre-symptomatic maternal malignancies have been incidentally detected during NIPT based on abnormal genomic profiles. This low coverage sequencing approach could have potential for ovarian cancer screening in the non-pregnant population. Our objective was to investigate whether plasma DNA sequencing with a clinical whole genome NIPT platform can detect early- and late-stage high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOC). This is a case control study of prospectively-collected biobank samples comprising preoperative plasma from 32 women with HGSOC (16 'early cancer' (FIGO I-II) and 16 'advanced cancer' (FIGO III-IV)) and 32 benign controls. Plasma DNA from cases and controls were sequenced using a commercial NIPT platform and chromosome dosage measured. Sequencing data were blindly analyzed with two methods: (1) Subchromosomal changes were called using an open source algorithm WISECONDOR (WIthin-SamplE COpy Number aberration DetectOR). Genomic gains or losses ≥ 15 Mb were prespecified as "screen positive" calls, and mapped to recurrent copy number variations reported in an ovarian cancer genome atlas. (2) Selected whole chromosome gains or losses were reported using the routine NIPT pipeline for fetal aneuploidy. We detected 13/32 cancer cases using the subchromosomal analysis (sensitivity 40.6 %, 95 % CI, 23.7-59.4 %), including 6/16 early and 7/16 advanced HGSOC cases. Two of 32 benign controls had subchromosomal gains ≥ 15 Mb (specificity 93.8 %, 95 % CI, 79.2-99.2 %). Twelve of the 13 true positive cancer cases exhibited specific recurrent changes reported in HGSOC tumors. The NIPT pipeline resulted in one "monosomy 18" call from the cancer group, and two "monosomy X" calls in the controls. Low coverage plasma DNA sequencing used for prenatal testing detected 40.6 % of all HGSOC, including 38 % of early stage cases. Our findings demonstrate the potential of a high throughput sequencing platform to screen for early HGSOC in plasma based on characteristic multiple segmental chromosome gains and losses. The performance of this approach may be further improved by refining bioinformatics algorithms and targeting selected cancer copy number variations.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 93 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 1%
United States 1 1%
Canada 1 1%
Unknown 90 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 22 24%
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 19%
Student > Master 14 15%
Student > Bachelor 10 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 8 9%
Other 12 13%
Unknown 9 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 29 31%
Medicine and Dentistry 27 29%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 12 13%
Computer Science 2 2%
Immunology and Microbiology 2 2%
Other 9 10%
Unknown 12 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 June 2017.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Medicine
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
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Altmetric has tracked 16,669,654 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,637 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 38.1. This one is in the 7th percentile – i.e., 7% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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