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Next-generation sequencing-based BRCA testing on cytological specimens from ovarian cancer ascites reveals high concordance with tumour tissue analysis


Background With the approval of the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib for newly diagnosed, breast cancer gene (BRCA)1/2 mutated, ovarian cancer women, the assessment of BRCA1/2 tumour status will be shortly required at the time of diagnosis.

Aim To investigate the feasibility of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based BRCA tumour test on cytological specimens from ovarian cancer ascites.

Methods We evaluated the BRCA1/2 status on neoplastic ascites and corresponding tumour tissue of 11 patients with ovarian cancer, using the NGS ‘Oncomine BRCA Research Assay’.

Results The NGS-based BRCA test on cytological samples had a success rate of 100%, with 11 of 11 concordant BRCA1/2 results between ascites and tumour tissues analyses, including two wild type samples and nine cases harbouring somatic or germline variants.

Conclusion BRCA test may be performed on ovarian cancer ascites, reproducing BRCA1/2 tumour status and representing a useful tool for clinical decision-making.

  • ovarian tumour
  • cytopathology
  • molecular genetics

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