Cell-free DNA in newly diagnosed patients with glioblastoma - a clinical prospective feasibility study

Oncotarget. 2019 Jul 9;10(43):4397-4406. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27030.


Background: Glioblastoma (GB) is an incurable brain cancer with limited treatment options. The aim was to test the feasibility of using cell-free DNA (cfDNA) to support evaluation of treatment response, pseudo-progression and whether progression could be found before clinical and/or radiologic progression. Results: CfDNA fluctuated during treatment with the highest levels before diagnostic surgery and at progression. An increase was seen in 3 out of 4 patients at the time of progression while no increase was seen in 3 out of 4 patients without progression. CfDNA levels could aid in 3 out of 3 questionable cases of pseudo-progression. Methods: Eight newly diagnosed GB patients were included. Blood samples were collected prior to diagnosis, before start and during oncologic treatment until progression. Seven patients received concurrent radiotherapy/Temozolomide with adjuvant Temozolomide with one of the patients included in a clinical trial with either immunotherapy or placebo as add-on. One patient received radiation alone. CfDNA concentration was determined for each blood sample. Conclusions: It was feasible to measure cfDNA concentration. Despite the limited cohort size, there was a good tendency between cfDNA and treatment course and -response, respectively with the highest levels at progression.

Keywords: base-pair; cell-free DNA; fragment length; glioblastoma; liquid biopsy.