Non-invasive monitoring of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by cell-free DNA high-throughput targeted sequencing: analysis of a prospective cohort

Blood Cancer J. 2018 Aug 1;8(8):74. doi: 10.1038/s41408-018-0111-6.


From a liquid biopsy, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) can provide information regarding basal tumoral genetic patterns and changes upon treatment. In a prospective cohort of 30 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), we determined the clinical relevance of cfDNA using targeted next-generation sequencing and its correlation with PET scan imaging at the time of diagnosis and during treatment. Using a dedicated DLBCL panel, mutations were identified at baseline for 19 cfDNAs and profiles were consistent with expected DLBCL patterns. Tumor burden-related clinical and PET scan features (LDH, IPI, and metabolic tumor volume) were significantly correlated with the quantity of tumoral cfDNA. Among the four patients presenting additional mutations in their cfDNAs, three had high metabolic tumor volumes, suggesting that cfDNA more accurately reflects tumor heterogeneity than tissues biopsy itself. Mid-treatment, four patients still had basal mutations in their cfDNAs, including three in partial response according to their Deauville scores. Our study highlights the major interests in liquid biopsy, in particular in the context of bulky tumors where cfDNA allows capturing the entire tumoral mutation profile. Therefore, cfDNA analysis in DLBCL represents a complementary approach to PET scan imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Cell-Free Nucleic Acids*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • DNA, Neoplasm*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell-Free Nucleic Acids
  • DNA, Neoplasm