Introduction: Whole genome sequencing has recently revealed MYD88 L265P somatic mutations in Waldenstrom macroguloblinemia (WM) tumor cells. Allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) using bone marrow (BM) aspirate and peripheral blood (PB) is the most frequently used technique to detect the specific mutation. In search for a non-invasive, simple, and more sensitive detection of MYD88 L265P mutation, we performed next generation deep sequencing (NGS) technique using unselected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from WM and IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM MGUS) patients. The main purpose of this study is to assess the clinical implication of MYD88 L265P mutation burden detected by NGS technique using unselected PBMCs.

Patients and methods: The study was approved from the Institutional Review Board. After informed consent was obtained in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, PBMCs were collected from 38 patients with WM and 20 patients with IgM MGUS. The median time from diagnosis to PBMC collection was 2.2 years (range, 0-25 years). Twenty-nine (76.3%) of WM patients were previously treated. The overall response (CR+PR+MR) rate at the time of analysis was 75.8% (22/29). Genomic DNA was extracted from unselected PBMCs and 300 ng of DNA was used for NGS analysis. Variation rates of MYD88 at the nucleotide position corresponding to L265P were measured with an Illumina MiSeq DNA sequencer by molecular barcoding technology essentially as previously reported (Nature Protocols 12, 664:2017). PCR products were sequenced on a MiSeq DNA sequencer with a Reagent kit v2. for 300 cycles. Serial dilution assessment was carried out to investigate the sensitivity of the method by analyzing the DNA of BM sample from a MYD88 mutation positive patient diluted in DNA from a healthy control.

Results: Dilution assessment demonstrated that NGS technique was detectable to a sensitivity of 0.02%, ×5 higher than previously reported sensitivity by AS-PCR. MYD88 L265P mutation was detected from 6/9 (66.7%), 8/29 (27.6%), and 11/20 (55%) in patients with untreated WM, previously treated WM, and IgM MGUS, respectively. Among the patients who were positive forMYD88 L265P mutations, the median percentage of mutant allele relative to WT was 3.0% (0.14-32.3%), 0.24% (0.02-33.8%), and 0.55% (0.06-2.85%), in untreated WM, previously treated WM, and IgM MGUS, respectively. Patients with Untreated WM and those with lymphadenopathy showed a trend toward higher mutant allele burden in PBMCs, but the difference was not statistically significant. Among 26 previously treated WM patients, those with at least minimal response showed significantly lower detection rate of MYD88 L265P mutation (13.6 vs. 75.0%, P=0.02) and mutant allele burden (median, 0.00% vs. 0.23%, P=0.01), compared to patients with less than minimal response.

Conclusion: This study is the first to report NGS analysis of MYD88 L265P mutation using unselected PBMCs of WM and IgM MGUS patients. The sensitivity for MYD88 L265P mutation in unselected PBMCs from IgM MGUS patients was comparable with that detected by AS-PCR using CD19-selected PB cells (Leukemia, 2014;28:1698-704). Although its specificity is in need for further investigations, NGS technique successfully detected the mutation carried by minimal tumor cells included in unselected PBMCs with high sensitivity as AS-PCR using CD19-selected PB cells. The mutation detection rate of previously treated WM patients was lower than that of untreated patients in our study and previously reported cohort; however, this in turn may potentially indicate that NGS detection of MYD88 L265P mutation in PBMC be clinically utilized in assessing treatment response by monitoring tumor burden during patients' clinical course.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


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