Detection of circulating tumor DNA in plasma of patients with primary CNS lymphoma by digital droplet PCR

BACKGROUND: Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) are rare mature B-cell lymphoproliferative diseases characterized by a high incidence of MYD88 L265P and CD79B Y196 hotspot mutations. Diagnosis of PCNSL can be challenging. The aim of the study was to analyze the detection rate of the MYD88 L265P and CD79B Y196 mutation in cell free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma of patients with PCNSL.

METHODS: We analyzed by digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) to determine presence of the MYD88 L265P and CD79B Y196 hotspot mutations in cfDNA isolated from plasma of 24 PCNSL patients with active disease. Corresponding tumor samples were available for 14 cases. Based on the false positive rate observed in 8 healthy control samples, a stringent cut-off for the MYD88 L265P and CD79B Y196 mutation were set at 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively.

RESULTS: MYD88 L265P and CD79B Y196 mutations were detected in 9/14 (64%) and 2/13 (15%) tumor biopsies, respectively. In cfDNA samples, the MYD88 L265P mutation was detected in 3/24 (12.5%), while the CD79B Y196 mutation was not detected in any of the 23 tested cfDNA samples. Overall, MYD88 L265P and/or CD79B Y196 were detected in cfDNA in 3/24 cases (12.5%). The detection rate of the combined analysis did not improve the single detection rate for either MYD88 L265P or CD79B Y196.

CONCLUSION: The low detection rate of MYD88 L265P and CD79B Y196 mutations in cfDNA in the plasma of PCNSL patients argues against its use in routine diagnostics. However, detection of MYD88 L265P by ddPCR in cfDNA in the plasma could be considered in challenging cases.

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