IMPORTANCE Somatic mosaic mutations in PPM1D have been reported in patients with breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer (OC), but cause or effect has not been established. OBSERVATIONS To test the hypothesis that somatic mosaic mutations are associated with chemotherapy exposure, we used massively parallel sequencing to quantitate mutations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 686 women with primary OC (n = 412) or relapsed OC (n = 274). The frequency of somatic mosaic PPM1D mutations in PBMCs was significantly associated with prior chemotherapy (P < .001), and, in patients exposed to chemotherapy, with older age at blood draw (recurrent OC odds ratio [OR], 17.24; 95%CI, 6.80-43.69; and primary OC postchemotherapy OR, 4.82; 95%CI, 1.43-16.18). In contrast, somatic mosaic mutations in TP53 were not significantly associated with chemotherapy or age. In sequential PBMC samples harvested from 13 patients with OC near diagnosis and after a median of 2 different chemotherapy regimens, somatic mosaic PPM1D mutations increased in 11 individuals (84.6%) and TP53 mutations appeared in 2 (15.4%). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Chemotherapy exposure and age influence the accumulation of PPM1D-mutated PBMC clones. Care should be taken to control for chemotherapy exposure and age at blood draw when testing the association of somatic mosaic mutations in PBMCs with cancer risk.
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