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Supplementary Material for: Cell-Free DNA and Clinical Characteristics in Patients with Small Intestinal or Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

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posted on 31.03.2021, 05:39 by Oversoe S.K., Sorensen B.S., Tabaksblat E.M., Gronbaek H., Kelsen J.
Introduction: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare and characterized by a heterogeneous clinical course and an unmet need for better prognostic markers. Plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has prognostic value in other malignancies but is not previously investigated in NETs. We studied cfDNA levels in patients with mainly low-grade small intestinal NET ­(siNET) or pancreatic NET (pNET) and evaluated the prognostic potential of cfDNA. Materials and Methods: We included 70 NET patients, siNET (n = 50) and pNET (n = 20). Plasma cfDNA levels were determined by droplet digital PCR for the beta-2-microglobulin gene every 6 months during a period of 3 years, including in a subgroup of 19 patients during peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) therapy. Results: cfDNA levels were higher in both siNET and pNET compared to a previously established healthy cohort (p < 0.0001). ­cfDNA levels did not predict overall survival (crude hazard ratio [HR] 0.95 [0.57–1.58], p = 0.837, adjusted for smoking status HR 0.77 [0.51–1.17], p = 0.22). The impact of cfDNA level on progression-free survival showed different trends in siNET and pNET. There was no effect of PRRT treatment on cfDNA levels and no difference in cfDNA levels between patients with and without progressive disease after PRRT (ANOVA p = 0.66). cfDNA levels were significantly higher in never-smokers and previous smokers than in current smokers (p = 0.029). Discussion/Conclusion: cfDNA levels are higher in NET patients than in healthy controls; however, there was no association with prognosis, and cfDNA levels were unaffected by PRRT. Our observations suggest that cfDNA levels are not associated with the disease course in low-grade NET in contrast to other malignancies.