A comparative study of extracellular vesicle-associated and cell-free DNA and RNA for HPV detection in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
Pereira, M. R.,
Lim, S. H.,
Gray, E. S.,
Lim, A. M.
A comparative study of extracellular vesicle-associated and cell-free DNA and RNA for HPV detection in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
Scientific Reports, 10.
Purpose: This study compares the detection sensitivity of two separate liquid biopsy sources, cell-free (cf) DNA/RNA and extracellular vesicle (EV)-associated DNA/RNA (EV-DNA/RNA), to identify circulating Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) DNA/RNA in plasma obtained from patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPCSCC). We also report on the longitudinal changes observed in HPV-DNA levels in response to treatment.
Experimental design: A prospective study was conducted that included 22 patients with locally advanced disease and six patients with metastatic OPCSCC. Twenty-three patients had HPV-related OPCSCC defined by p16 immunohistochemistry. Levels of circulating HPVDNA and HPV-RNA from plasma-derived cf-DNA/RNA and EV-DNA/RNA were quantified using digital droplet PCR.
Results:Circulating HPV-DNA was detected with higher sensitivity in cf-DNA compared to EV-DNA at 91% vs. 42% (p=
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that although HPV-DNA/RNA can be detected in EV associated DNA/RNA, cf-DNA/RNA is the more sensitive liquid biopsy medium. As circulating HPV-DNA levels were found to only correlate with treatment response in the locally advanced but not metastatic setting in our small cohort of patients, the use of HPV-DNA as a dynamic biomarker to monitor treatment response requires further evaluation.
head and neck cancer, tumour biomarkers