Multiplex SuperSelective PCR Assays for the Detection and Quantitation of Rare Somatic Mutations in Liquid Biopsies

J Mol Diagn. 2022 Mar;24(3):189-204. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2021.11.006. Epub 2021 Dec 23.


SuperSelective primers, by virtue of their unique design, enable the simultaneous identification and quantitation of inherited reference genes and rare somatic mutations in routine multiplex PCR assays, while virtually eliminating signals from abundant wild-type sequences closely related to the target mutations. These assays are sensitive, specific, rapid, and low cost, and can be performed in widely available spectrofluorometric thermal cyclers. Herein, we provide examples of SuperSelective PCR assays that target eight different somatic EGFR mutations, irrespective of whether they occur in the same codon, occur at separate sites within the same exon, or involve deletions. In addition, we provide examples of SuperSelective PCR assays that detect specific EGFR mutations in circulating tumor DNA present in the plasma of liquid biopsies obtained from patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. The results suggest that multiplex SuperSelective PCR assays may enable the choice, and subsequent modification, of effective targeted therapies for the treatment of an individual's cancer, utilizing frequent noninvasive liquid biopsies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Mutation


  • ErbB Receptors