Target-enriched next-generation sequencing reveals differences between primary and secondary ovarian tumors in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue

J Mol Diagn. 2015 Mar;17(2):193-200. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2014.10.006. Epub 2014 Dec 26.


Differentiating primary endometrioid or mucinous ovarian tumors from secondary ovarian tumors can be challenging. We compared somatic mutation profiles of primary and secondary ovarian cancers to investigate if these profiles can help diagnose ovarian tumors. Cancer-related genes (n = 115) were screened by target-enriched next-generation sequencing in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue from 43 primary endometrioid and mucinous ovarian carcinomas and 28 proven colorectal cancer metastases to the ovary. Results were validated by high-resolution melting curve analysis and Sanger sequencing. TP53, NOTCH1, PIK3CA, and FAT4 versus APC, TP53, KRAS, and FAT4 mutations were the most common in the primary ovarian tumors and ovarian colorectal cancer metastases, respectively. An inactivating APC mutation was found in 4.7% of primary ovarian tumors (2 of 43; 95% CI, 1.6%-10.9%). In contrast, inactivating APC mutations were identified in 71% of colorectal cancer metastases (20 of 28; 95% CI, 55%-88%) (P < 0.001; sensitivity: 71.4%, 95% CI, 51.1%-86.0%; specificity: 95.4%, 95% CI, 82.9%-99.1%). Loss of heterozygosity and APC promoter hypermethylation did not differ significantly between the primary and secondary ovarian tumors. NOTCH1 mutations were observed specifically in primary ovarian tumors, although at a low frequency, but not in metastases (6 of 41; 14.6%; 95% CI, 3.8%-25.4%). APC mutation analysis can be used to differentiate primary endometrioid and mucinous ovarian tumors from colorectal cancer metastases to the ovary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Formaldehyde
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / secondary
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Formaldehyde