Background and aims: With the introduction of Olaparib as target therapy for High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer (HGSOC) patients with germline and somatic BRCA1/2 mutations, the genetic test performed on tumor tissue has become important like the germline test. In somatic testing the evaluation of Large Genomic Rearrangements (LGRs) represents the main challenge. We describe a droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assay for the evaluation of target BRCA1 LGRs on blood and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE)/Fresh Frozen Tissue (FFT) samples. Materials and methods: We analyzed blood, FFPE and FFT samples in a validation setting of n = 78 HGSOC patients. We applied the ddPCR to BRCA1 exons 2, 20 and 21 as some of the most common BRCA1 exons involved in LGRs in our cohort of patients. Results: The ddPCR custom assays allowed the identification of LGRs in all sample types, including FFPE specimens. Moreover, we were able to clearly detect LGRs accounted as somatic event. Conclusion: The introduction of ddPCR in a comprehensive workflow, encompassing both germline and somatic tests, represents an improvement in BRCA1/2 testing. ddPCR can overcome challenges related to BRCA testing, especially on FFPE analysis. Finally, ddPCR represents a promising alternative strategy to the established standard methods currently used in clinical setting.
- Droplet digital PCR
- High grade serous ovarian cancer
- Large genomic rearrangement