The analysis of circulating tumour nucleic acids (ctNAs) provides a minimally invasive way to assess the mutational spectrum of a tumour. However, effective and practical methods for analyzing this emerging class of markers are lacking. Analysis of ctNAs using a sensor-based approach has notable challenges, as it is vital to differentiate nucleic acids from normal cells from mutation-bearing sequences emerging from tumours. Moreover, many genes related to cancer have dozens of different mutations. Herein, we report an electrochemical approach that directly detects genes with mutations in patient serum by using combinatorial probes (CPs). The CPs enable detection of all of the mutant alleles derived from the same part of the gene. As a proof of concept, we analyze mutations of the EGFR gene, which has more than 40 clinically relevant alterations that include deletions, insertions, and point mutations. Our CP-based approach accurately detects mutant sequences directly in patient serum.
- circulating tumour nucleic acids
- liquid biopsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas