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Circulating tumor DNA for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in neurofibromatosis type 1

Abstract

Purpose

The leading cause of early death in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). The principles of management include early diagnosis, surgical clearance and close monitoring for tumor recurrence. Current methods for diagnosis, detection of residual disease and monitoring tumor burden are inadequate, as clinical and radiological features are non-specific for malignancy in patients with multiple tumors and lack the sensitivity to identify early evidence of malignant transformation or tumor recurrence. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a promising tool in cancer management and has the potential to improve the care of patients with NF1. In the following article we summarise the current understanding of the genomic landscape of MPNST, report on the previous literature of ctDNA in MPNST and outline the potential clinical applications for ctDNA in NF1 associated MPNST. Finally, we describe our prospective cohort study protocol investigating the utility of using ctDNA as an early diagnostic tool for MPNSTs in NF1 patients.

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Data availability

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Conception, planning: GD, KD. Writing & editing manuscript: JJ, SC, JPS, PC, AM, KD, GD.

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Correspondence to Jordan Jones.

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Jones, J., Cain, S., Pesic-Smith, J. et al. Circulating tumor DNA for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in neurofibromatosis type 1. J Neurooncol 154, 265–274 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11060-021-03846-z

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Keywords

  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
  • Circulating tumor DNA
  • Biomarkers
  • Liquid biopsy