Analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is emerging as a powerful tool for guiding targeted therapy and monitoring tumor evolution in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly when fresh tissue biopsy is not available. This study compared the ability of four leading technology platforms to detect epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (L858R, exon 19 deletion, T790M and G719X) in ctDNA from NSCLC patients. The platforms included two amplification refractory mutation systems (cobas-ARMS and ADx-ARMS), a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction platform (ddPCR) and a next-generation sequencing platform (Firefly NGS). Fifteen EGFR mutations across twenty NSCLC patients were identified. We observed superior sensitivity and specificity of cobas-ARMS, ddPCR and Firefly NGS platforms, while ADx-ARMS was only suitable for the qualitative detection of EGFR mutations with allele frequency higher than 1% in plasma samples. We observed high concordance between the plasma and tissue EGFR mutational profiles for three driver mutations that are known targets of the first generation EGFR-TKI therapy (L858R, E19-dels, and G719X). Discrepancies between plasma and tissue EGFR mutational profiling could be attributed to spatial and temporal tumor heterogeneity. This pilot study illustrates the promise of ctDNA analysis in the context of treatment evaluation and drug resistance detection, and results will be validated in follow-up studies.

Citation Format: Ting Xu, Xiaozheng Kang, Xiaofang You, Dai Liang, Dequan Tian, Wanpu Yan, Yongbo Yang, Hongchao Xiong, Zhen Liang, Grace Q. Zhao, Shengrong Lin, Ke-Neng Chen, Guobing Xu. Cross-platform comparison of four leading technologies for detecting EGFR mutations in circulating tumor DNA from plasma of patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 2742. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-2742