Circulating tumor DNA reflects uveal melanoma responses to protein kinase C inhibition

John J. Park, Russell J. Diefenbach, Natalie Byrne, Georgina V. Long, Richard A. Scolyer, Elin S. Gray, Matteo S. Carlino, Helen Rizos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The prognosis for patients with UM is poor, and recent clinical trials have failed to prolong overall survival (OS) of these patients. Over 95% of UM harbor activating driver mutations, and this allows for the investigation of ctDNA. In this study, we investigated the value of ctDNA for adaptive clinical trial design in metastatic UM. Longitudinal plasma samples were analyzed for ctDNA in 17 metastatic UM patients treated with PKCi-based therapy in a phase 1 clinical trial setting. Plasma ctDNA was assessed using digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) and a custom melanoma gene panel for targeted next generation sequencing (NGS). Baseline ctDNA strongly correlated with baseline lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (p < 0.001) and baseline disease burden (p = 0.002). Early during treatment (EDT) ctDNA accurately predicted patients with clinical benefit to PKCi using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves (AUC 0.84, [95% confidence interval 0.65–1.0, p = 0.026]). Longitudinal ctDNA assessment was informative for establishing clinical benefit and detecting disease progression with 7/8 (88%) of patients showing a rise in ctDNA and targeted NGS of ctDNA revealed putative resistance mechanisms prior to radiological progression. The inclusion of longitudinal ctDNA monitoring in metastatic UM can advance adaptive clinical trial design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1740
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Circulating tumor DNA
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Melanoma
  • Next generation sequencing
  • PKC inhibitor
  • Response
  • Treatment
  • Uveal melanoma


Dive into the research topics of 'Circulating tumor DNA reflects uveal melanoma responses to protein kinase C inhibition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this