Evaluation of Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) Samples from Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer for Whole Genome, Whole Exome and Comprehensive Panel Sequencing

Cancers (Basel). 2024 Feb 15;16(4):785. doi: 10.3390/cancers16040785.


Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is often the only source of tumor tissue from patients with advanced, inoperable lung cancer. EBUS-TBNA aspirates are used for the diagnosis, staging, and genomic testing to inform therapy options. Here we extracted DNA and RNA from 220 EBUS-TBNA aspirates to evaluate their suitability for whole genome (WGS), whole exome (WES), and comprehensive panel sequencing. For a subset of 40 cases, the same nucleic acid extraction was sequenced using WGS, WES, and the TruSight Oncology 500 assay. Genomic features were compared between sequencing platforms and compared with those reported by clinical testing. A total of 204 aspirates (92.7%) had sufficient DNA (100 ng) for comprehensive panel sequencing, and 109 aspirates (49.5%) had sufficient material for WGS. Comprehensive sequencing platforms detected all seven clinically reported tier 1 actionable mutations, an additional three (7%) tier 1 mutations, six (15%) tier 2-3 mutations, and biomarkers of potential immunotherapy benefit (tumor mutation burden and microsatellite instability). As expected, WGS was more suited for the detection and discovery of emerging novel biomarkers of treatment response. WGS could be performed in half of all EBUS-TBNA aspirates, which points to the enormous potential of EBUS-TBNA as source material for large, well-curated discovery-based studies for novel and more effective predictors of treatment response. Comprehensive panel sequencing is possible in the vast majority of fresh EBUS-TBNA aspirates and enhances the detection of actionable mutations over current clinical testing.

Keywords: EBUS-TBNA; TSO500; advanced lung cancer; fresh aspirates; whole exome sequencing; whole genome sequencing.

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