Multiplex Detection of Rare Mutations by Picoliter Droplet Based Digital PCR: Sensitivity and Specificity Considerations

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Abstract

© 2016 Zonta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. In cancer research, the accuracy of the technology used for biomarkers detection is remarkably important. In this context, digital PCR represents a highly sensitive and reproducible method that could serve as an appropriate tool for tumor mutational status analysis. In particular, droplet-based digital PCR approaches have been developed for detection of tumorspecific mutated alleles within plasmatic circulating DNA. Such an approach calls for the development and validation of a very significant quantity of assays, which can be extremely costly and time consuming. Herein, we evaluated assays for the detection and quantification of various mutations occurring in three genes often misregulated in cancers: the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and the Tumoral Protein p53 (TP53) genes. In particular, commercial competitive allele-specific TaqMan® PCR (castPCRTM) technology, as well as TaqMan1 and ZENTM assays, have been evaluated for EGFR p.L858R, p.T790M, p.L861Q point mutations and in-frame deletions Del19. Specificity and sensitivity have been determined on cell lines DNA, plasmatic circulating DNA of lung cancer patients or Horizon Diagnostics Reference Standards. To show the multiplexing capabilities of this technology, several multiplex panels for EGFR (several three- and four-plexes) have been developed, offering new "ready-to-use" tests for lung cancer patients.

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Zonta, E., Garlan, F., Pécuchet, N., Perez-Toralla, K., Caen, O., Milbury, C., … Taly, V. (2016). Multiplex Detection of Rare Mutations by Picoliter Droplet Based Digital PCR: Sensitivity and Specificity Considerations. PLoS ONE, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159094

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