Purpose: Limited knowledge exists on the detection of breast cancer stem cell (BCSC)-related mutations in circulating free DNA (cfDNA) from patients with advanced cancers. Identification of new cancer biomarkers may allow for earlier detection of disease progression and treatment strategy modifications. Methods: We conducted a prospective study to determine the feasibility and prognostic utility of droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR)-based BCSC gene mutation analysis of cfDNA in patients with breast cancer. Results: Detection of quantitative BCSC gene mutation in cfDNA by ddPCR mirrors disease progression and thus may represent a valuable and cost-effective measure of tumor burden. We have previously shown that hematological and neurological expressed 1-like (HN1L), ribosomal protein L39 (RPL39), and myeloid leukemia factor 2 (MLF2) are novel targets for BCSC self-renewal, and targeting these genetic alterations could be useful for personalized genomic-based therapy. Conclusion: BCSC mutation detection in cfDNA may have important implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and serial monitoring.
- Breast carcinoma
- Droplet digital polymerase chain reaction
- Stem cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research