LP-WGS analysis of liquid biopsies (ctDNA) for oncology applications

Background

Analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) offers great opportunities for cancer research and patient care. There are multiple applications and benefits associated with studying ctDNA including the ability to identify tumor heterogeneity and the detection of somatic mutations unidentified following the analysis of tumor tissue samples.

Additionally, liquid biopsies provide a noninvasive option for obtaining repeated samples, enabling the tracking of the clonal evolution of the tumor over time, monitoring treatment response, detecting drug resistance, and early identification of tumor recurrence and residual disease.

The use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to perform low-pass whole genome sequencing (LP-WGS) ctDNA analyses opens the door to numerous exploratory possibilities for oncology researchers and clinicians.

Challenges

ctDNA may represent only a tiny fraction of available cell -free DNA (cfDNA). As a result, it was extremely difficult to obtain precise data for the entire genome prior to the availability of current NGS technology. Compared to the typical 30X coverage needed when peforming WGS in order to obtain relevant data, LPWGS decreases the coverage considerably to enable the measurement of the very low quantity ctDNA fraction which is present in liquid biopsy sample.

Adding to this technical challenge is the need to obtain sufficent data from low pass WGS to meet the needs of bioinformatics pipelines developed to extract and analyze sequencing data.

Solution

From sample extraction to data analysis, IntegraGen offers a complete workflow that enables researchers and clinicians to obtain relevant molecular information from ctDNA for their research projects or clinical applications. Download our technical brief to find out more.

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