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Circulating tumor (ct)-DNA alterations in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC): Association with outcomes and evolution with therapy

  • Guru Sonpavde,
  • Rebecca J Nagy,
  • A. Oliver Sartor,
  • Gregory Russell Pond,
  • Theodore Stewart Gourdin,
  • Lakshminarayanan Nandagopal,
  • Elisa M. Ledet,
  • Neeraj Agarwal,
  • Emma Carroll,
  • Gurudatta Naik,
  • Jue Wang,
  • Mehmet Asim Bilen,
  • Petros Grivas,
  • Richard B. Lanman,
  • AmirAli Talasaz,
  • Michael B. Lilly

Publication: J Clin Oncol


Cell-free ctDNA may be prognostic and evolve following therapy. We report ctDNA profiling of patients (pts) with mCRPC and their association with clinical outcomes and evolution with therapy. 


Pts with mCRPC that underwent baseline ctDNA analysis for potentially actionable alterations using Guardant360 before new systemic therapy were identified. Data were requested for clinical factors, current and prior therapy, TTF (time to failure) and survival. A 70-gene cfDNA next generation sequencing panel from a CLIA-licensed, CAP-accredited laboratory (Guardant Health, Inc.) offers complete exon sequencing for 29 genes, critical exons in 39 genes and amplifications (16 genes), fusions (6 genes) and indels (3 genes) harvested from 10 mL of peripheral blood. Alterations were reported and association of alterations with outcomes and prior therapy was examined. 


Of 514 with confirmed mCRPC, 482 (94%) had ≥ 1 ctDNA alteration. The median age was 70 years (range 39-91). The most common recurrent somatic mutations were in TP53 (36% of patients), AR (22%), APC (10%), NF1 (9%), EGFR, CTNNB1 and ARID1A (6% each) and BRCA1, BRCA2 and PIK3CA (5% each) The most common genes with increased copy numbers were AR (30%), MYC (20%) and BRAF (18%). Clinical outcomes were available for 163 pts, of whom 46 (28.8%) were untreated for mCRPC. A higher number of ctDNA alterations was associated with shorter TTF (HR: 1.05, p = 0.026). AR alterations had a trend for shorter TTF (HR: 1.42, p = 0.053) and survival (HR: 2.51, p = 0.09). Pts who received prior therapy had new alterations in AR (56% vs. 37%, p = 0.028) compared to untreated pts. Serial ctDNA profiling of 64 pts revealed the evolution of alterations in AR, BRCA1 and BRCA2 following therapy. 


ctDNA was frequently detected in patients with mCRPC, and alterations appear similar to tumor tissue alterations. A higher number of overall gene alterations and AR alterations appeared associated with poor clinical outcomes and new AR and BRCA alterations appeared following therapy. These data suggest that developing salvage agents targeting AR alterations and PARP inhibitors hold promise.

Editorial comment from Piotr Chlosta

In 94% of patients with metastatic CRPC, at least one circulating tumor (ct)-DNA alteration was detected in blood samples. Alterations appeared similar to tumor tissue alterations. These results warranting further research suggest possible future less invasive alternative to tumor biopsy, and potential use for personalized targeted therapy.