The AURORA pilot study for molecular screening of patients with advanced breast cancer–a study of the breast international group

Marion Maetens (Lead / Corresponding author), David Brown, Alexandre Irrthum, Philippe Aftimos, Giuseppe Viale, Sibylle Loibl, Jean-François Laes, Peter J. Campbell, Alastair Thompson, Javier Cortes, Sabine Seiler, Sara Vinnicombe, Mafalda Oliveira, Françoise Rothé, Yacine Bareche, Debora Fumagalli, Dimitrios Zaradavas, Christine Desmedt, Martine Piccart, Sherene LoiChristos Sotiriou

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    Several studies have demonstrated the feasibility of molecular screening of tumour samples for matching patients with cancer to targeted therapies. However, most of them have been carried out at institutional or national level. Herein, we report on the pilot phase of AURORA (NCT02102165), a European multinational collaborative molecular screening initiative for advanced breast cancer patients. Forty-one patients were prospectively enroled at four participating centres across Europe. Metastatic tumours were biopsied and profiled using an Ion Torrent sequencing platform at a central facility. Sequencing results were obtained for 63% of the patients in real-time with variable turnaround time stemming from delays between patient consent and biopsy. At least one clinically actionable mutation was identified in 73% of patients. We used the Illumina sequencing technology for orthogonal validation and achieved an average of 66% concordance of substitution calls per patient. Additionally, copy number aberrations inferred from the Ion Torrent sequencing were compared to single nucleotide polymorphism arrays and found to be 59% concordant on average. Although this study demonstrates that powerful next generation genomic techniques are logistically ready for international molecular screening programs in routine clinical settings, technical challenges remain to be addressed in order to ensure the accuracy and clinical utility of the genomic data.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number23
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalNPJ Breast Cancer
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017


    • Cancer genomics
    • Translational research


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