Intra-tumor heterogeneity renders the identification of somatic single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) a challenging problem. In particular, low-frequency SNVs are hard to distinguish from sequencing artifacts. While the increasing availability of multi-sample tumor DNA sequencing data holds the potential for more accurate variant calling, there is a lack of high-sensitivity multi-sample SNV callers that utilize these data. Here we report Moss, a method to identify low-frequency SNVs that recur in multiple sequencing samples from the same tumor. Moss provides any existing single-sample SNV caller the ability to support multiple samples with little additional time overhead. We demonstrate that Moss improves recall while maintaining high precision in a simulated dataset. On multi-sample hepatocellular carcinoma, acute myeloid leukemia and colorectal cancer datasets, Moss identifies new low-frequency variants that meet manual review criteria and are consistent with the tumor’s mutational signature profile. In addition, Moss detects the presence of variants in more samples of the same tumor than reported by the single-sample caller. Moss’ improved sensitivity in SNV calling will enable more detailed downstream analyses in cancer genomics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)