Context: The disease course of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) patients is heterogeneous. A marker for prognosis and treatment response would facilitate choices for diagnosis and therapy. In other cancer types, circulating cell-free tumor DNA predicted tumor dynamics.Case Descriptions: The present pilot study included six patients. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) showed mutations in three ACC cases. From these patients, blood was drawn before (1 to 2 weeks) and after surgery and cell-free circulating DNA (cfDNA) was isolated. Tumor-specific mutations were found in the cfDNA of one of the three patients, with metastasized ACC at diagnosis. NGS of the tumor showed an NRAS mutation (c.182A>G:p.Q61R) in 78%, a TP53 mutation (c.856G>A:p.E286K) in 60%, and a TERT gene mutation (1295250C>T) in 28% of the reads. The preoperative cfDNA showed the same mutations at a frequency of 64%, 32%, and 2%, respectively. The postoperative cfDNA showed the same mutations but at lower frequencies (52%, 16%, and 3%, respectively). The patient was postoperatively treated with mitotane and chemotherapy. No mutations were detected in the corresponding leukocyte DNA or in the cfDNA from the two other patients.Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time mutations occurring at high levels in cfDNA collected before and after surgery from one of three patients, after previous identification in the tumor. However, in the cfDNA from two patients with known mutations, we were unable to reliably detect mutations in the cfDNA. Our results indicate that mutation detection in cfDNA can vary among ACC patients, and other approaches might be required to detect the tumor response and monitor progressive disease.

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Journal Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Creemers, S, Korpershoek, E, Atmodimedjo, P.N, Dinjens, W.N.M, van Koetsveld, P.M, Feelders, R.A, & Hofland, L.J. (2017). Identification of Mutations in Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA in Adrenocortical Carcinoma: A Case Series. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 102(10), 3611–3615. doi:10.1210/jc.2017-00174