Liquid biopsy tests have become an integral part of the molecular diagnosis of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We describe a new test panel that uses very low input (20 ng) of cell-free nucleic acids extracted from human plasma, which is designed to yield results in less than 72 h. In this study, we performed novel amplicon-based targeted next-generation sequencing with a semiconductor-based system, the Ion GeneStudio S5 Prime. The analytic performance of the assay was evaluated using contrived and retrospectively collected clinical specimens. The cumulative percent coefficient of variation for the new test process was very precise at 8.4% for inter-day, 4.0% for inter-operator and 3.4% for inter-instrument. We also observed significant agreement (95.7-100%) with an orthogonal, high-sensitivity droplet digital™ Polymerase Chain Reaction (ddPCR) test. This method offers a valuable supplement to assessing targeted mutations from blood while conserving specimens and maintaining sensitivity, with rapid turn-around times to actionable results.
Keywords: diagnostics; liquid biopsy; next generation sequencing (NGS); non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).