Baseline mutation profiling of 1134 samples of circulating cell-free DNA and blood cells from healthy individuals
The molecular alteration in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma can reflect the status of the human body in a timely manner. Hence, cfDNA has emerged as important biomarkers in clinical diagnostics, particularly in cancer. However, somatic mutations are also commonly found in healthy individuals, which extensively interfere with the diagnostic results in cancer. This study was designed to examine the background somatic mutations in white blood cells (WBC) and cfDNA for healthy controls
... r healthy controls based on the sequencing data from 1134 samples, to understand the patterns and origin of mutations detected in cfDNA. We determined the mutation frequencies in both the WBC and cfDNA groups of the samples by a panel of 50 cancer-associated genes which covered 20K nucleotide regions using ultra-deep sequencing with average depth >40000 folds. Our results showed that most of mutations in cfDNA originated from WBC. We also observed that NPM1 gene was the most frequently mutant gene in both WBC and cfDNA. Our study highlighted the importance of sequencing both cfDNA and WBC, to improve the sensitivity and accuracy for calling cancer-related mutations from circulating tumor DNA, and shielded light on developing the early cancer diagnosis by cfDNA sequencing.