21st June 2017 - Acta Neuropathologica
Molecular classification of cancer has entered clinical routine to inform diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment decisions. At the same time, new tumor entities have been identified that cannot be defined histologically. For central nervous system tumors, the current World Health Organization classification explicitly demands molecular testing, e.g., for 1p/19q-codeletion or IDH mutations, to make an integrated histomolecular diagnosis. However, a plethora of sophisticated technologies is currently needed to assess different genomic and epigenomic alterations and turnaround times are in the range of weeks, which makes standardized and widespread implementation difficult and hinders timely decision making. Here, we explored the potential of a pocket-size nanopore sequencing device for multimodal and rapid molecular diagnostics of cancer. Low-pass whole genome sequencing was used to simultaneously generate copy number (CN) and methylation profiles from native tumor DNA in the same sequencing run. Single nucleotide variants in IDH1, IDH2, TP53, H3F3A, and the TERT promoter region were identified using deep amplicon sequencing. Nanopore sequencing yielded ~0.1X genome coverage within 6 h and resulting CN and epigenetic profiles correlated well with matched microarray data. Diagnostically relevant alterations, such as 1p/19q codeletion, and focal amplifications could be recapitulated. Using ad hoc random forests, we could perform supervised pan-cancer classification to distinguish gliomas, medulloblastomas, and brain metastases of different primary sites. Single nucleotide variants in IDH1, IDH2, and H3F3A were identified using deep amplicon sequencing within minutes of sequencing. Detection of TP53 and TERT promoter mutations shows that sequencing of entire genes and GC-rich regions is feasible. Nanopore sequencing allows same-day detection of structural variants, point mutations, and methylation profiling using a single device with negligible capital cost. It outperforms hybridization-based and current sequencing technologies with respect to time to diagnosis and required laboratory equipment and expertise, aiming to make precision medicine possible for every cancer patient, even in resource-restricted settings.
Data available under European Genome–Phenome Archive (accession EGAS00001002213)