Table_1_Biased Influences of Low Tumor Purity on Mutation Detection in Cancer.DOC
The non-cancerous components in tumor tissues, e.g., infiltrating stromal cells and immune cells, dilute tumor purity and might confound genomic mutation profile analyses and the identification of pathological biomarkers. It is necessary to systematically evaluate the influence of tumor purity. Here, using public gastric cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we firstly showed that numbers of mutation, separately called by four algorithms, were significant positively correlated with tumor purities (all p < 0.05, Spearman rank correlation). Similar results were also observed in other nine cancers from TCGA. Notably, the result was further confirmed by six in-house samples from two gastric cancer patients and five in-house samples from two colorectal cancer patients with different tumor purities. Furthermore, the metastasis mechanism of gastric cancer may be incorrectly characterized as numbers of mutation and tumor purities of 248 lymph node metastatic (N + M0) samples were both significantly lower than those of 121 non-metastatic (N0M0) samples (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon rank-sum test). Similar phenomena were also observed that tumor purities could confound the analysis of histological subtypes of cancer and the identification of microsatellite instability status (MSI) in both gastric and colon cancer. Finally, we suggested that the higher tumor purity, such as above 70%, rather than 60%, could be better to meet the requirement of mutation calling. In conclusion, the influence of tumor purity on the genomic mutation profile and pathological analyses should be fully considered in the further study.