The preoperative distinction between uterine leiomyoma (LM) and leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is difficult, which may result in dissemination of an unexpected malignancy during surgery for a presumed benign lesion. An assay based on circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) could help in the preoperative distinction between LM and LMS. This study addresses the feasibility of applying the two most frequently used approaches for detection of ctDNA: profiling of copy number alterations (CNAs) and point mutations in the plasma of patients with LM.By shallow whole-genome sequencing, we prospectively examined whether LM-derived ctDNA could be detected in plasma specimens of 12 patients. Plasma levels of lactate dehydrogenase, a marker suggested for the distinction between LM and LMS by prior studies, were also determined. We also profiled 36 LM tumor specimens by exome sequencing to develop a panel for targeted detection of point mutations in ctDNA of patients with LM.We identified tumor-derived CNAs in the plasma DNA of 50% (six of 12) of patients with LM. The lactate dehydrogenase levels did not allow for an accurate distinction between patients with LM and patients with LMS. We identified only two recurrently mutated genes in LM tumors (MED12 and ACLY).Our results show that LMs do shed DNA into the circulation, which provides an opportunity for the development of ctDNA-based testing to distinguish LM from LMS. Although we could not design an LM-specific panel for ctDNA profiling, we propose that the detection of CNAs or point mutations in selected tumor suppressor genes in ctDNA may favor a diagnosis of LMS, since these genes are not affected in LM.
View details for DOI 10.1200/po.18.00409
View details for PubMedID 32232185
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7105159