Jan 31, 2024

New Publication from the Bratman Lab

Dr. Scott Bratman
Dr. Scott Bratman

MBP scientist Dr. Scott Bratman has co-authored a new Journal of Clinical Oncology paper entitled ‘Clinical Validation of Human Papilloma Virus Circulating Tumor DNA for Early Detection of Residual Disease After Chemoradiation in Cervical Cancer.’

Article Abstract

Purpose: Most cervical cancers are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV), and HPV circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) may identify patients at highest risk of relapse. Our pilot study using digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) showed that detectable HPV ctDNA at the end of chemoradiation (CRT) is associated with inferior progression-free survival (PFS) and that a next-generation sequencing approach (HPV-seq) may outperform dPCR. We aimed to prospectively validate HPV ctDNA as a tool for early detection of residual disease.

Methods: This prospective, multicenter validation study accrued patients with stage IB-IVA cervical cancer treated with CRT between 2017 and 2022. Participants underwent phlebotomy at baseline, end of CRT, 4-6 weeks post-CRT, and 3 months post-CRT for HPV ctDNA levels. Plasma HPV genotype-specific DNA levels were quantified using both dPCR and HPV-seq. The primary end point was 2-year PFS.

Results: With a median follow-up of 2.2 (range, 0.5-5.5) years, there were 24 PFS events among the 70 patients with HPV+ cervical cancer. Patients with detectable HPV ctDNA on dPCR at the end of CRT, 4-6 weeks post-CRT, and 3 months post-CRT had significantly worse 2-year PFS compared with those with undetectable HPV ctDNA (77% v 51%, P= .03; 82% v 15%, P < .001; and 82% v 24%, P < .001, respectively); the median lead time to recurrence was 5.9 months. HPV-seq showed similar results as dPCR. On multivariable analyses, detectable HPV ctDNA on dPCR and HPV-seq remained independently associated with inferior PFS.

Conclusion: Persistent HPV ctDNA after CRT is independently associated with inferior PFS. HPV ctDNA testing can identify, as early as at the end of CRT, patients at high risk of recurrence for future treatment intensification trials.

View the article on the PubMed website.

Read a UHN News article about this publication.