Detecting TP53 mutations in diagnostic and archival liquid-based Pap samples from ovarian cancer patients using an ultra-sensitive ddPCR method

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common subtype of epithelial ovarian cancer and early detection is challenging. TP53 mutations are a hallmark of HGSOC and detection of these mutations in liquid-based Pap samples could provide a method for early diagnosis. Here we evaluate the use of IBSAFE, an ultra-sensitive droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) method, for detecting TP53 mutations in liquid-based Pap samples collected from fifteen women at the time of diagnosis (diagnostic samples) and/or up to seven years prior to diagnosis (archival samples). We analysed tumours for somatic TP53 mutations with next generation sequencing and were able to detect the corresponding mutations in diagnostic samples from six of eight women, while one patient harboured a germline mutation. We further detected a mutation in an archival sample obtained 20 months prior to the ovarian cancer diagnosis. The custom designed IBSAFE assays detected minor allele frequencies (MAFs) with very high assay sensitivity (MAF = 0.0068%) and were successful despite low DNA abundance (0.17-206.14 ng, median: 17.27 ng). These results provide support for further evaluation of archival liquid-based Pap samples for diagnostic purposes and demonstrate that ultra-sensitive ddPCR should be evaluated for ovarian cancer screening in high-risk groups or in the recurrent setting.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Region Skåne, Laboratory Medicine
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Article number15506
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 29
Publication categoryResearch