Liquid biopsy offers a minimally invasive alternative to tissue-based evaluation of mutational status in cancer. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the aggregate performance of OncoBEAM RAS mutation analysis in plasma of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients at 10 hospital laboratories in Spain where this technology is routinely implemented.
Circulating cell-free DNA from plasma was examined for RAS mutations using the OncoBEAM platform at each hospital laboratory. Results were then compared to those obtained from DNA extracted from tumour tissue from the same patient.
The overall percentage agreement between plasma-based and tissue-based RAS mutation testing of the 236 participants was 89% (210/236; kappa, 0.770 (95% CI: 0.689-0.852)). Re-analysis of tissue from all discordant cases by BEAMing revealed two false negative and five false positive tumour tissue RAS results, with a final concordance of 92%. Plasma false negative results were found more frequently in patients with exclusive lung metastatic disease.
In this first prospective real-world RAS mutation performance comparison study, a high overall agreement was observed between results obtained from plasma and tissue samples. Overall, these findings indicate that the plasma-based BEAMing assay is a viable solution for rapid delivery of RAS mutation status to determine mCRC patient eligibility for anti-EGFR therapy.