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Cancer Cytopathol. 2013 Dec;121(12):688-94. doi: 10.1002/cncy.21338. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Clinical next-generation sequencing successfully applied to fine-needle aspirations of pulmonary and pancreatic neoplasms.

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Foundation Medicine, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts.



Next-generation sequencing was performed on pulmonary and pancreatic fine-needle aspirations (FNAs) and on paired FNAs and resected primary tumors from the same patient.


DNA was isolated in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cell blocks from 16 pulmonary FNAs, 23 pancreatic FNAs, and 5 resected pancreatic primary tumors. Next-generation sequencing was performed for 4561 exons of 287 cancer-related genes and for 47 introns of 19 genes on indexed, adaptor-ligated, hybridization-captured libraries using a proprietary sequencing system (the Illumina HiSeq 2000).


Genomic profiles were generated successfully from 16 of 16 (100%) pulmonary FNAs, which included 14 nonsmall cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and 2 small cell lung cancers (SCLCs). The NSCLC group included 6 adenocarcinomas, 5 squamous cell carcinomas, and 3 NSCLCs not otherwise specified. Genomic profiles were successfully obtained from 23 of 23 (100%) pancreatic FNAs and from 5 of 5 (100%) matched pancreatic primary tumors, which included 17 ductal adenocarcinomas, 3 mucinous adenocarcinomas, 2 adenocarcinomas NOS, and 1 neuroendocrine tumor. Eighty-one genomic alterations were identified in the 16 pulmonary FNAs (average, 5.1 genomic alterations per patient); and the most common genomic alterations were TP53, RB1, SOX2, PIK3CA, and KRAS. Eighty-seven genomic alterations were identified in the 23 pancreatic tumor FNAs (average, 3.8 genomic alterations per patient); and the most common genomic alterations were KRAS, TP53, CDKN2A/B, SMAD4, and PTEN. Among the pancreatic tumors, there was 100% concordance of 20 genomic alterations that were identified in 5 patient-matched FNA and surgical primary tumor pairs.


The authors were able to perform next-generation sequencing reliably on FNAs of pulmonary and pancreatic tumors, and the genomic alterations discovered correlated well with those identified in matched resected pancreatic tumors.


copy number alterations; deletion; fine-needle aspiration biopsy; gene fusion; insertion; mutation; next-generation sequencing; nonsmall cell lung cancer; pancreatic cancer; targeted therapy

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