Comparative analysis of genetic variants in pleural fluids and solid tissue biopsies of pleural mesothelioma patients: Implications for molecular heterogeneity assessment

Heliyon 2024 May 31 [Link]

Roberto Silvestri, Filomena Rea, Marianna Vitiello, Gabriele Moretti, Vittorio Aprile, Marco Lucchi, Paolo Aretini, Chiara Maria Mazzanti, Stefano Landi, Federica Gemignani


Objectives: This study aims to determine whether the sequencing of DNA extracted from pleural fluids (PFs) of Pleural Mesothelioma (PM) patients accurately represents the genetic information obtained from the solid tissue counterpart biopsies with particular attention to the identification of single nucleotide variants (SNVs).

Materials and methods: Single pleural biopsy, PFs, and blood were collected from PM patients. DNA was extracted from these samples and then subjected to Whole-Exome Sequencing.

Results: A higher number of SNVs was identified in PFs than in solid tissue biopsies (STBs). Most SNVs were detected in PFs samples but not in STBs samples, while only a few SNVs were detected in STBs samples but not in PFs samples.

Conclusion: The current findings support the notion that PFs might offer a more robust depiction of cancer’s molecular diversity. Nonetheless, the current outcomes challenge the assertion that liquid biopsies can encompass the entirety of intra-patient variations. Indeed, a subset of potential cancer-driver SNVs was exclusively identified in STBs. However, relying solely on STBs would have precluded the detection of significant SNVs that were exclusively present in PFs. This implies that while PFs serve as a valuable complement to STBs, they do not supplant them.