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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2015-11-04
    Description: Background: Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology has been rapidly introduced into basic and translational research in oncology, but the reduced availability of fresh frozen (FF) tumor tissues and the poor quality of DNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) has significantly impaired this process in the field of solid tumors. To evaluate if data generated from FFPE material can be reliably produced and potentially used in routine clinical settings, we performed whole exome sequencing (WES) from tumor samples of Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), either extracted FF or FFPE, and from matched normal DNA. Methods: We performed whole exome enrichment and sequencing at 100bp in paired end on four GIST samples, either from FFPE or fresh-frozen tissue, and from matched normal DNA. Results: The integrity of DNA extracted from FFPE was evaluated by a modified RAPD PCR method, thus identifying high quality (HQ) and low quality (LQ) FFPE. DNA library production and exome capture was feasible for both classes of FFPE, despite the smaller yield and insert size of LQ-FFPE. WES produced data of equal quality from FF and FFPE, while only HQ-FFPE yielded an amount of data comparable to FF samples. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the percentage of variants called both in FF and FFPE samples was very high in HQ-FFPE, reaching 94-96 % of the total number of called variants. Classification of somatic variants by nucleotide substitution type showed that HQ-FFPE and FF had similar mutational profiles, while LQ-FFPE samples carried a much higher number of mutations than the FF counterpart, with a significant enrichment of C 〉 T/G 〉 A substitutions. Focusing on potential disease-related variants allowed the discovery of additional somatic variants in GIST samples, apart from the known oncogenic driver mutation, both from sequencing of FF and FFPE material. False positive and false negative calls were present almost exclusively in the analysis of FFPE of low quality. On the whole this study showed that WES is feasible also on FFPE specimens and that it is possible to easily select FFPE samples of high quality that yield sequencing results comparable to the FF counterpart. Conclusions: WES on FFPE material may represent an important and innovative source for GIST research and for other solid tumors, amenable of possible application in clinical practice.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2164
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2014-04-13
    Description: Background: Accurate genomic variant detection is an essential step in gleaning medically useful information from genome data. However, low concordance among variant-calling methods reduces confidence in the clinical validity of whole genome and exome sequence data, and confounds downstream analysis for applications in genome medicine.Here we describe BAYSIC (BAYeSian Integrated Caller), which combines SNP variant calls produced by different methods (e.g. GATK, FreeBayes, Atlas, SamTools, etc.) into a more accurate set of variant calls. BAYSIC differs from majority voting, consensus or other ad hoc intersection-based schemes for combining sets of genome variant calls. Unlike other classification methods, the underlying BAYSIC model does not require training using a "gold standard" of true positives. Rather, with each new dataset, BAYSIC performs an unsupervised, fully Bayesian latent class analysis to estimate false positive and false negative error rates for each input method. The user specifies a posterior probability threshold according to the user's tolerance for false positive and false negative errors; lowering the posterior probability threshold allows the user to trade specificity for sensitivity while raising the threshold increases specificity in exchange for sensitivity. Results: We assessed the performance of BAYSIC in comparison to other variant detection methods using ten low coverage (~5X) samples from The 1000 Genomes Project, a tumor/normal exome pair (40X), and exome sequences (40X) from positive control samples previously identified to contain clinically relevant SNPs. We demonstrated BAYSIC's superior variant-calling accuracy, both for somatic mutation detection and germline variant detection. Conclusions: BAYSIC provides a method for combining sets of SNP variant calls produced by different variant calling programs. The integrated set of SNP variant calls produced by BAYSIC improves the sensitivity and specificity of the variant calls used as input. In addition to combining sets of germline variants, BAYSIC can also be used to combine sets of somatic mutations detected in the context of tumor/normal sequencing experiments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2105
    Topics: Biology , Computer Science
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2013-10-11
    Description: Background: Lyme disease is caused by spirochete bacteria from the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi s.l.) species complex. To reconstruct the evolution of B. burgdorferi s.l. and identify the genomic basis of its human virulence, we compared the genomes of 23 B. burgdorferi s.l. isolates from Europe and the United States, including B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (B. burgdorferi s.s., 14 isolates), B. afzelii (2), B. garinii (2), B. "bavariensis" (1), B. spielmanii (1), B. valaisiana (1), B. bissettii (1), and B. "finlandensis" (1). Results: Robust B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. burgdorferi s.l. phylogenies were obtained using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms, despite recombination. Phylogeny-based pan-genome analysis showed that the rate of gene acquisition was higher between species than within species, suggesting adaptive speciation. Strong positive natural selection drives the sequence evolution of lipoproteins, including chromosomally-encoded genes 0102 and 0404, cp26-encoded ospC and b08, and lp54-encoded dbpA, a07, a22, a33, a53, a65. Computer simulations predicted rapid adaptive radiation of genomic groups as population size increases. Conclusions: Intra- and inter-specific pan-genome sizes of B. burgdorferi s.l. expand linearly with phylogenetic diversity. Yet gene-acquisition rates in B. burgdorferi s.l. are among the lowest in bacterial pathogens, resulting in high genome stability and few lineage-specific genes. Genome adaptation of B. burgdorferi s.l. is driven predominantly by copy-number and sequence variations of lipoprotein genes. New genomic groups are likely to emerge if the current trend of B. burgdorferi s.l. population expansion continues.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2164
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-07-31
    Description: Background: Primary cardiac angiosarcoma is extremely aggressive; however, it is often misdiagnosed because of its rarity. For locally advanced tumors, doxorubicin-based chemotherapy regimens are the standard of treatment, even if the gain in term of progression-free survival is limited and is no longer than 5 months.Case presentationWe report the case of a Caucasian 23-year-old man with locally advanced cardiac angiosarcoma who underwent radical surgical resection after a prolonged response to weekly docetaxel and complementary radiotherapy. Conclusion: Combined treatment with weekly docetaxel and radiotherapy may be a valid alternative for the treatment of locally advanced cardiac angiosarcoma; the combination can lead to radical surgical resections, avoiding the cumulative cardiotoxicity of antracycline-based regimens.
    Electronic ISSN: 1756-0500
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-08-14
    Description: Background: Deidentified newborn screening bloodspot samples (NBS) represent a valuable potential resource for genomic research if impediments to whole exome sequencing of NBS deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), including the small amount of genomic DNA in NBS material, can be overcome. For instance, genomic analysis of NBS could be used to define allele frequencies of disease-associated variants in local populations, or to conduct prospective or retrospective studies relating genomic variation to disease emergence in pediatric populations over time. In this study, we compared the recovery of variant calls from exome sequences of amplified NBS genomic DNA to variant calls from exome sequencing of non-amplified NBS DNA from the same individuals. Results: Using a standard alignment-based Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK), we find 62,000–76,000 additional variants in amplified samples. After application of a unique kmer enumeration and variant detection method (RUFUS), only 38,000–47,000 additional variants are observed in amplified gDNA. This result suggests that roughly half of the amplification-introduced variants identified using GATK may be the result of mapping errors and read misalignment. Conclusions: Our results show that it is possible to obtain informative, high-quality data from exome analysis of whole genome amplified NBS with the important caveat that different data generation and analysis methods can affect variant detection accuracy, and the concordance of variant calls in whole-genome amplified and non-amplified exomes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2164
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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