Genomics and Methylation of Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer from cfDNA (Cornell/Trento 2019)
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A subset of castration resistant prostate cancers develop small cell neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) as a mechanism of treatment resistance. Metastatic tissue biopsies to evaluate for NEPC transformation are invasive and challenging to perform serially. We performed whole exome and whole genome bisulfite sequencing of plasma cfDNA and matched tumor biopsy samples from 62 patients with metastatic prostate cancer along the disease spectrum to evaluate for NEPC associated genomic and epigenomic features. Multiple tissue biopsies and/or plasma time points were included for a subset of patients to characterize disease heterogeneity and dynamic changes. Computational analysis of clonality and allele specific quantification allowed for detailed comparison of matched tumor tissue and cfDNA data (CLONET v2). Methylation profiles detected from tissue and plasma data were compared and NEPC specific alterations were evaluated in cfDNA. The study supports the feasibility of a plasma based assay for the detection of NEPC.