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Assays & screens

Census-based, whole-exome sequencing of circulating tumor cells (CTCs)

Census-based, whole-exome sequencing of CTCs could be used for blood-based diagnosis and monitoring of cancer metastasis. Census-based sequencing involves sequencing multiple DNA libraries generated from the same sample of CTCs and using variants present in more than one library to distinguish somatic mutations from sequencing errors. In 19 CTC libraries from a patient with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), census-based sequencing detected 73 somatic single-nucleotide variants (SSNVs), with 51 of them also detected in the primary tumor. In the same patient, among 93 SSVNs found in a sample from a lymph node metastasis, 47 were also detected in CTCs. Next steps include optimizing the method to decrease cost and increase throughput.

SciBX 7(20); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.595
Published online May 22, 2014

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Lohr, J.G. et al. Nat. Biotechnol.; published online April 20, 2014;
Contact: J. Christopher Love, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.
Contact: Jesse S. Boehm, same affiliation as above
Contact: Gad Getz, same affiliation as above