Droplet digital PCR for large genomic rearrangements detection: A promising strategy in tissue BRCA1 testing

Anna Fagotti, Giovanni Scambia, Paola Concolino, Angelo Piermattei, Angelo Minucci, Ettore Domenico Capoluongo, Ettore Capoluongo

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

1 Citazioni (Scopus)


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.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)17-24
Numero di pagine8
RivistaClinica Chimica Acta
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • BRCA
  • Droplet digital PCR
  • High grade serous ovarian cancer
  • Large genomic rearrangement


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