Next generation sequencing (NGS) has been used to characterize the overall genomic landscape of melanomas. Here, we systematically examined mutations from recently published melanoma NGS data involving 241 paired tumor-normal samples to identify potentially clinically relevant mutations. Melanomas were characterized according to an in-house clinical assay that identifies well-known specific recurrent mutations in five driver genes: BRAF (affecting V600), NRAS (G12, G13, and Q61), KIT (W557, V559, L576, K642, and D816), GNAQ (Q209), and GNA11 (Q209). Tumors with none of these mutations are termed “pan-negative”. We then mined the driver mutation-positive and pan-negative melanoma NGS data for mutations in 632 cancer genes that could influence existing or emerging targeted therapies. First, we uncovered several genes whose mutations were more likely associated with BRAF- or NRAS-driven melanomas, including TP53 and COL1A1 with BRAF, and PPP6C, KALRN, PIK3R4, TRPM6, GUCY2C, and PRKAA2 with NRAS. Second, we found that the 69 “pan-negative” melanoma genomes harbored alternate infrequent mutations in the 5 known driver genes along with many mutations in genes encoding guanine nucleotide binding protein α-subunits. Third, we identified 12 significantly mutated genes in “pan-negative” samples (ALK, STK31, DGKI, RAC1, EPHA4, ADAMTS18, EPHA7, ERBB4, TAF1L, NF1, SYK, and KDR), including 5 genes (RAC1, ADAMTS18, EPHA7, TAF1L, and NF1) with a recurrent mutation in at least 2 “pan-negative” tumor samples. This meta-analysis provides a road map for the study of additional potentially actionable genes in both driver mutation-positive and pan-negative melanomas.
Melanoma; Next-generation sequencing; Meta-analysis; Driver mutation; BRAF; NRAS; KIT; GNA11; GNAQ
Lung cancer in never-smokers is an important disease often characterized by mutations in EGFR, yet risk reduction measures and effective chemopreventive strategies have not been established. We identify mTOR as a new and potentially valuable target for EGFR mutant lung cancer, as mTOR was activated in human lung cancers with EGFR mutations, which increased with acquisition of T790M mutation. In a mouse model of EGFR mutant lung cancer, activation of mTOR was an early event. As a single agent, the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, prevented tumor development, prolonged overall survival, and improved outcomes after treatment with an irreversible EGFR TKI. These studies support clinical testing of mTOR inhibitors to prevent the development and progression of EGFR mutant lung cancers.
Mutations in the PIK3CA gene are common in breast cancer and represent a clinically useful therapeutic target. Several larger, population-based studies have shown a positive prognostic significance associated with these mutations. This study aims to further identify characteristics of patients harboring PIK3CA mutations while evaluating the clinical impact of genomic testing for these mutations.
Tumors from 312 patients at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center were analyzed for PIK3CA mutations using a multiplex screening assay (SNaPshot). Mutation rates, receptor status, histopathologic characteristics, and time to recurrence were assessed. The number of patients participating in clinical trials, specifically trials relating to the PIK3CA mutation, was examined. Statistically significant differences between wild type and mutated tumors were determined using the Wilcoxon, Pearson, and Fischer exact tests.
The PIK3CA mutation was found in 25% of tumors tested. Patients with PIK3CA mutations were significantly more likely to express hormone receptors, be of lower combined histological grade, and have a reduced time to recurrence. Patients found to have a PIK3CA mutation were significantly more likely to enter a PIK3CA specific clinical trial.
In addition to confirming previously established positive prognostic characteristics of tumors harboring PIK3CA mutations, this study demonstrates the feasibility and utility of mutation profiling in a clinical setting. PIK3CA mutation testing impacted treatment and resulted in more patients entering mutation specific clinical trials.
PIK3CA mutation; PI3K; breast cancer; SNaPshot
Patients with EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinomas (LUADs) who initially respond to first-generation TKIs develop resistance to these drugs. A combination of the irreversible TKI afatinib and the EGFR antibody cetuximab can be used to overcome resistance to first-generation TKIs; however, resistance to this drug combination eventually emerges. We identified activation of the mTORC1 signaling pathway as a mechanism of resistance to dual inhibition of EGFR in mouse models. Addition of rapamycin reversed resistance in vivo. Analysis of afatinib+cetuximab-resistant biopsy specimens revealed the presence of genomic alterations in genes that modulate mTORC1 signaling including NF2 and TSC1. These findings pinpoint enhanced mTORC1 activation as a mechanism of resistance to afatinib+cetuximab and identify genomic mechanisms that lead to activation of this pathway, revealing a potential therapeutic strategy for treating patients with resistance to these drugs.
Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have been rapidly applied in biomedical and biological research since its advent only a few years ago, and they are expected to advance at an unprecedented pace in the following years. To provide the research community with a comprehensive NGS resource, we have developed the database Next Generation Sequencing Catalog (NGS Catalog, http://bioinfo.mc.vanderbilt.edu/NGS/index.html), a continually updated database that collects, curates and manages available human NGS data obtained from published literature. NGS Catalog deposits publication information of NGS studies and their mutation characteristics (SNVs, small insertions/deletions, copy number variations, and structural variants), as well as mutated genes and gene fusions detected by NGS. Other functions include user data upload, NGS general analysis pipelines, and NGS software. NGS Catalog is particularly useful for investigators who are new to NGS but would like to take advantage of these powerful technologies for their own research. Finally, based on the data deposited in NGS Catalog, we summarized features and findings from whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, and transcriptome sequencing studies for human diseases or traits.
next generation sequencing (NGS); exome sequencing; whole genome sequencing; RNA sequencing; disease genome; gene fusion; database
Adenomatous tumors in the middle ear and temporal bone are rare but highly morbid because they are difficult to detect prior to the development of audiovestibular dysfunction. Complete resection is often disfiguring and difficult because of location and the late stage at diagnosis, so identification of molecular targets and effective therapies is needed. Here, we describe a new mouse model of aggressive papillary ear tumor that was serendipitously discovered during the generation of a mouse model for mutant EGFR-driven lung cancer. Although these mice did not develop lung tumors, 43% developed head tilt and circling behavior. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans showed bilateral ear tumors located in the tympanic cavity. These tumors expressed mutant EGFR as well as active downstream targets such as Akt, mTOR and ERK1/2. EGFR-directed therapies were highly effective in eradicating the tumors and correcting the vestibular defects, suggesting these tumors are addicted to EGFR. EGFR activation was also observed in human ear neoplasms, which provides clinical relevance for this mouse model and rationale to test EGFR-targeted therapies in these rare neoplasms.
mouse model of adenomatous ear tumor; ear tumorigenesis; EGFR; EGFR-targeted therapy
Increased understanding of inter-tumoral heterogeneity at the genomic level has led to significant advancements in the treatment of solid tumors. Functional genomic alterations conferring sensitivity to targeted therapies can take many forms, and appropriate methods and tools are needed to detect these alterations. This review provides an update on genetic variability among solid tumors of similar histologic classification, using non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma as examples. We also discuss relevant technological platforms for discovery and diagnosis of clinically actionable variants and highlight the implications of specific genomic alterations for response to targeted therapy.
Lung cancer; melanoma; tumor genotyping; personalized medicine; next-generation sequencing
The ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), crizotinib, shows significant activity in patients whose lung cancers harbor ALK fusions but its efficacy is limited by variable primary responses and acquired resistance. In work arising from the intriguing clinical observation of a patient with ALK fusion+ lung cancer who had an ‘exceptional response’ to an IGF-1R antibody, we define a therapeutic synergism between ALK and IGF-1R inhibitors. Similar to IGF-1R, ALK fusion proteins bind to the adaptor, IRS-1, and IRS-1 knockdown enhances the anti-tumor effects of ALK inhibitors. In models of ALK TKI resistance, the IGF-1R pathway is activated, and combined ALK/IGF-1R inhibition improves therapeutic efficacy. Consistent with this finding, IGF-1R/IRS-1 levels are increased in biopsy samples from patients progressing on crizotinib therapy. Collectively, these data support a role for the IGF-1R/IRS-1 pathway in both ALK TKI-sensitive and TKI-resistant states and provide biological rationale for further clinical development of dual ALK/IGF-1R inhibitors.
ALK; ALK fusions; IGF-1R; IRS-1; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; crizotinib; ceritinib; cancer; lung cancer; targeted therapeutics; drug resistance; exceptional responder
First generation EGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) provide significant clinical benefit in patients with advanced EGFR mutant (EGFRm+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients ultimately develop disease progression, often driven by acquisition of a second T790M EGFR TKI resistance mutation. AZD9291 is a novel oral, potent and selective third generation irreversible inhibitor of both EGFRm+ sensitizing and T790M resistance mutants that spares wild-type EGFR. This monoanilino-pyrimidine compound is structurally distinct from other third generation EGFR TKIs and offers a pharmacologically differentiated profile from earlier generation EGFR TKIs. Pre-clinically, the drug potently inhibits signaling pathways and cellular growth in both EGFRm+ and EGFRm+/T790M mutant cell lines in vitro, with lower activity against wild-type EGFR lines, translating into profound and sustained tumor regression in EGFR mutant tumor xenograft and transgenic models. The treatment of two patients with advanced EGFRm T790M+ NSCLC is described as proof of principle.
EGFR mutant lung cancer; AZD9291; EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor
Recurrent “driver” mutations at specific loci in BRAF, NRAS, KIT, GNAQ, and GNA11 define clinically-relevant molecular subsets of melanoma, but >30% are “pan-negative” for these recurrent mutations. We sought to identify additional potential drivers in “pan-negative” melanoma.
Using a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay (FoundationOne™) and targeted RNA sequencing, we identified a novel PAPSS1-BRAF fusion in a “pan-negative” melanoma. We then analyzed NGS data from 51 additional melanomas genotyped by FoundationOne™, as well as melanoma RNA, whole genome and whole exome sequencing data in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), to determine the potential frequency of BRAF fusions in melanoma. We characterized the signaling properties of confirmed molecular alterations by ectopic expression of engineered cDNAs in 293H cells.
Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in cells by ectopic expression of PAPSS1-BRAF was abrogated by MEK inhibition but not by BRAF inhibition. NGS data analysis of 51 additional melanomas revealed a second BRAF fusion (TRIM24-BRAF) in a “pan-negative” sample; MAPK signaling induced by TRIM24-BRAF was also MEK inhibitor sensitive. Through mining TCGA skin cutaneous melanoma dataset, we further identified two potential BRAF fusions in another 49 “pan-negative” cases.
BRAF fusions define a new molecular subset of melanoma, potentially comprising 4–8% of “pan-negative” cases. Their presence may explain an unexpected clinical response to MEK inhibitor therapy or assist in selecting patients for MEK directed therapy.
melanoma; BRAF fusion; BRAF rearrangement; next-generation sequencing; BRAF inhibitor; MEK inhibitor; vemurafenib; trametinib
To determine the clinical impact of extensive genetic analysis, the use of a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform (FoundationOne) in advanced cancer patients was reviewed. Mutational profiling using a targeted NGS panel identified potentially actionable alterations in a majority of the patients. The assay identified additional therapeutic options and facilitated clinical trial enrollment. As time progresses, NGS results will be used to guide therapy in an increasing proportion of patients.
Oncogenic genetic alterations “drive” neoplastic cell proliferation. Small molecule inhibitors and antibodies are being developed that target an increasing number of these altered gene products. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful tool to identify tumor-specific genetic changes. To determine the clinical impact of extensive genetic analysis, we reviewed our experience using a targeted NGS platform (FoundationOne) in advanced cancer patients.
Patients and Methods.
We retrospectively assessed demographics, NGS results, and therapies received for patients undergoing targeted NGS (exonic sequencing of 236 genes and selective intronic sequencing from 19 genes) between April 2012 and August 2013. Coprimary endpoints were the percentage of patients with targeted therapy options uncovered by mutational profiling and the percentage who received genotype-directed therapy.
Samples from 103 patients were tested, most frequently breast carcinoma (26%), head and neck cancers (23%), and melanoma (10%). Most patients (83%) were found to harbor potentially actionable genetic alterations, involving cell-cycle regulation (44%), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT (31%), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (19%) pathways. With median follow-up of 4.1 months, 21% received genotype-directed treatments, most in clinical trials (61%), leading to significant benefit in several cases. The most common reasons for not receiving genotype-directed therapy were selection of standard therapy (35%) and clinical deterioration (13%).
Mutational profiling using a targeted NGS panel identified potentially actionable alterations in a majority of advanced cancer patients. The assay identified additional therapeutic options and facilitated clinical trial enrollment. As time progresses, NGS results will be used to guide therapy in an increasing proportion of patients.
Next-generation sequencing; Genotype; Precision medicine; Molecular targeted therapy; Cancer; Mutation
Targeting oncogenic drivers (genomic alterations critical to cancer development and maintenance) has transformed the care of patients with lung adenocarcinomas. The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium was formed to perform multiplexed assays testing adenocarcinomas of the lung for drivers in 10 genes to enable clinicians to select targeted treatments and enroll patients into clinical trials.
To determine the frequency of oncogenic drivers in patients with lung adenocarcinomas and to use the data to select treatments targeting the identified driver(s) and measure survival.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
From 2009 through 2012, 14 sites in the United States enrolled patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinomas and a performance status of 0 through 2 and tested their tumors for 10 drivers. Information was collected on patients, therapies, and survival.
Tumors were tested for 10 oncogenic drivers, and results were used to select matched targeted therapies.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Determination of the frequency of oncogenic drivers, the proportion of patients treated with genotype-directed therapy, and survival.
From 2009 through 2012, tumors from 1007 patients were tested for at least 1 gene and 733 for 10 genes (patients with full genotyping). An oncogenic driver was found in 466 of 733 patients (64%). Among these 733 tumors, 182 tumors (25%) had the KRAS driver; sensitizing EGFR, 122 (17%); ALK rearrangements, 57 (8%); other EGFR, 29 (4%); 2 or more genes, 24 (3%); ERBB2 (formerly HER2), 19 (3%); BRAF, 16 (2%); PIK3CA, 6 (<1%); MET amplification, 5 (<1%); NRAS, 5 (<1%); MEK1, 1 (<1%); AKT1, 0. Results were used to select a targeted therapy or trial in 275 of 1007 patients (28%). The median survival was 3.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 1.96-7.70) for the 260 patients with an oncogenic driver and genotype-directed therapy compared with 2.4 years (IQR, 0.88-6.20) for the 318 patients with any oncogenic driver(s) who did not receive genotype-directed therapy (propensity score–adjusted hazard ratio, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.53-0.9], P = .006).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Actionable drivers were detected in 64% of lung adenocarcinomas. Multiplexed testing aided physicians in selecting therapies. Although individuals with drivers receiving a matched targeted agent lived longer, randomized trials are required to determine if targeting therapy based on oncogenic drivers improves survival.
Lung cancer in never smokers, which has been partially attributed to household solid fuel use (i.e coal), is etiologically and clinically different from lung cancer attributed to tobacco smoking. To explore the spectrum of driver mutations among lung cancer tissues from never smokers, specifically in a population where high lung cancer rates have been attributed to indoor air pollution from domestic coal use, multiplexed assays were used to detect >40 point mutations, insertions, and deletions (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, HER2, NRAS, PIK3CA, MEK1, AKT1, and PTEN) among the lung tumors of confirmed never smoking females from Xuanwei, China [32 adenocarcinomas (ADCs), 7 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), 1 adenosquamous carcinoma (ADSC)]. EGFR mutations were detected in 35% of tumors. 46% of these involved EGFR exon 18 G719X, while 14% were exon 21 L858R mutations. KRAS mutations, all of which were G12C_34G>T, were observed in 15% of tumors. EGFR and KRAS mutations were mutually exclusive, and no mutations were observed in the other tested genes. Most point mutations were transversions and were also found in tumors from patients who used coal in their homes. Our high mutation frequencies in EGFR exon 18 and KRAS and low mutation frequency in EGFR exon 21 are strikingly divergent from those in other smoking and never smoking populations from Asia. Given that our subjects live in a region where coal is typically burned indoors, our findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of lung cancer among never smoking females exposed to indoor air pollution from coal.
EGFR; KRAS; lung cancer; never smoking; China; driver mutations; tumor tissue
Many cancer genes form mutation hotspots that disrupt their functional domains or active sites, leading to gain- or loss-of-function. We propose a mutation set enrichment analysis (MSEA) implemented by two novel methods, MSEA-clust and MSEA-domain, to predict cancer genes based on mutation hotspot patterns. MSEA methods are evaluated by both simulated and real cancer data. We find approximately 51% of the eligible known cancer genes form detectable mutation hotspots. Application of MSEA in eight cancers reveals a total of 82 genes with mutation hotspots, including well-studied cancer genes, known cancer genes re-found in new cancer types, and novel cancer genes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0489-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
EGFR-mutant lung cancers responsive to reversible EGFR inhibitors (gefitinib/erlotinib) develop acquired resistance, mediated by second-site EGFR T790M mutation in >50% cases. Preclinically, afatinib (irreversible ErbB family blocker) plus cetuximab (anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody) overcomes T790M-mediated resistance. This phase Ib study combining afatinib and cetuximab enrolled heavily pretreated patients with advanced EGFR-mutant lung cancer and acquired resistance to erlotinib/gefitinib. Patients provided post-acquired-resistance tumor samples for profiling EGFR mutations. Among 126 patients, objective response rate (overall 29%) was comparable in T790M-positive and T790M-negative tumors (32% vs. 25%; P = 0.341). Median progression-free survival was 4.7 months (95% confidence interval, 4.3–6.4); median duration of confirmed objective response was 5.7 months (range, 1.8–24.4). Therapy-related grade 3/4 adverse events occurred in 44%/2% of patients. Afatinib/cetuximab demonstrated robust clinical activity and a manageable safety profile in EGFR-mutant lung cancers with acquired resistance to gefitinib or erlotinib, both with and without T790M mutations, warranting further investigation.
afatinib; cetuximab; acquired resistance
To identify common genetic variants that contribute to lung cancer susceptibility, we conducted a multistage genome-wide association study of lung cancer in Asian women who never smoked. We scanned 5,510 never-smoking female lung cancer cases and 4,544 controls drawn from 14 studies from mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We genotyped the most promising variants (associated at P < 5 × 10-6) in an additional 1,099 cases and 2,913 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 10q25.2 (rs7086803, P = 3.54 × 10-18), 6q22.2 (rs9387478, P = 4.14 × 10-10) and 6p21.32 (rs2395185, P = 9.51 × 10-9). We also confirmed associations reported for loci at 5p15.33 and 3q28 and a recently reported finding at 17q24.3. We observed no evidence of association for lung cancer at 15q25 in never-smoking women in Asia, providing strong evidence that this locus is not associated with lung cancer independent of smoking.
Tumor gene mutation status is becoming increasingly important in the treatment of patients with cancer. A comprehensive catalog of tumor gene–response outcomes from individual patients is needed, especially for actionable mutations and rare variants. We created a proof-of-principle database [DNA-mutation Inventory to Refine and Enhance Cancer Treatment (DIRECT)], starting with lung cancer-associated EGF receptor (EGFR) mutations, to provide a resource for clinicians to prioritize treatment decisions based on a patient’s tumor mutations at the point of care.
A systematic search of literature published between June 2005 and May 2011 was conducted through PubMed to identify patient-level, mutation–drug response in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutant tumors. Minimum inclusion criteria included patient’s EGFR mutation, corresponding treatment, and an associated radiographic outcome.
A total of 1,021 patients with 1,070 separate EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy responses from 116 different publications were included. About 188 unique EGFR mutations occurring in 207 different combinations were identified: 149 different mutation combinations were associated with disease control and 42 were associated with disease progression. Four secondary mutations, in 16 different combinations, were associated with acquired resistance.
As tumor sequencing becomes more common in oncology, this comprehensive electronic catalog can enable genome-directed anticancer therapy. DIRECT will eventually encompass all tumor mutations associated with clinical outcomes on targeted therapies. Users can make specific queries at http:// www.mycancergenome.org/about/direct to obtain clinically relevant data associated with various mutations.
Gene fusions are important genomic events in human cancer because their fusion gene products can drive the development of cancer and thus are potential prognostic tools or therapeutic targets in anti-cancer treatment. Major advancements have been made in computational approaches for fusion gene discovery over the past 3 years due to improvements and widespread applications of high-throughput next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. To identify fusions from NGS data, existing methods typically leverage the strengths of both sequencing technologies and computational strategies. In this article, we review the NGS and computational features of existing methods for fusion gene detection and suggest directions for future development.
gene fusion; next generation sequencing; cancer; whole genome sequencing; transcriptome sequencing; computational tools
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations initially respond to first generation reversible EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. However, clinical efficacy is limited by acquired resistance, frequently driven by the EGFR T790M mutation. CO-1686 is a novel, irreversible and orally delivered kinase inhibitor that specifically targets the mutant forms of EGFR including T790M while exhibiting minimal activity towards the wild-type (WT) receptor. Oral administration of CO-1686 as single agent induces tumor regression in EGFR mutated NSCLC tumor xenograft and transgenic models. Minimal activity of CO-1686 against the WT EGFR receptor was observed. In NSCLC cells with acquired resistance to CO-1686 in vitro, there was no evidence of additional mutations or amplification of the EGFR gene, but resistant cells exhibited signs of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and demonstrated increased sensitivity to AKT inhibitors. These results suggest CO-1686 may offer a novel therapeutic option for patients with mutant EGFR NSCLC.
NSCLC; EGFR; drug resistance; T790M; EMT
Concurrent signal transduction inhibition with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor gefitinib and the mammalian target-of-rapamycin inhibitor everolimus has been hypothesized to result in enhanced antitumor activity in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This phase II trial assessed the efficacy of the combination of gefitinib and everolimus in patients with advanced NSCLC.
Two cohorts of 31 patients with measurable stage IIIB/IV NSCLC were enrolled: (1) no prior chemotherapy and (2) previously treated with cisplatin or carboplatin and docetaxel or pemetrexed. All patients received daily everolimus 5 mg and gefitinib 250 mg. Response was assessed after 1 month and then every 2 months. Pretreatment tumor specimens were collected for mutation testing.
Sixty-two patients were enrolled (median age: 66 years, 50% women, 98% stage IV, all current/former smokers, and 85% adenocarcinoma). Partial responses were seen in 8 of 62 patients (response rate: 13%; 95% confidence interval: 5–21%); five responders had received no prior chemotherapy. Three partial responders had an EGFR mutation. Both patients with a KRAS (G12F) mutation responded. The median time to progression was 4 months. Median overall survival was 12 months, 27 months for no prior chemotherapy patients, and 11 months for patients previously treated with chemotherapy.
The 13% partial response rate observed did not meet the prespecified response threshold to pursue further study of the combination of gefitinib and everolimus. The response rate in patients with non-EGFR mutant tumors was 8%, likely reflecting activity of everolimus. Further investigation of mammalian target-of-rapamycin inhibitors in patients with NSCLC with KRAS G12F-mutated tumors is warranted.
Non-small cell lung cancer; Gefitinib; Everolimus.
A subset of lung adenocarcinomas appears preferentially sensitive to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). EGFR-activating mutations and never smoking are associated with response to TKIs.
To describe the morphology of adenocarcinomas responsive to TKIs, compare it to tumors in nonresponding patients, and correlate findings with EGFR mutations, gene copy number, and protein expression.
Material from 52 EGFR TKI-treated patients was studied: 29 responders and 23 nonresponders. Adenocarcinoma subtypes and morphologic features were defined in histologic and cytologic material. EGFR mutations were detected by sequencing, copy number by chromogenic in situ hybridization, and expression by immunohistochemistry.
Tumors from TKI responders tended to be better-differentiated adenocarcinomas with bronchioloalveolar carcinoma components. Nonresponders showed more heterogeneous morphology, higher grade, and more subtypes, and were more likely to show solid growth. In nonresponders, the only pure bronchioloalveolar carcinoma was mucinous, a subtype known to be negative for EGFR mutations. Using World Health Organization criteria, all tumors in both groups other than pure bronchioloalveolar carcinomas would be classified as adenocarcinomas, mixed subtype, thereby obscuring some of these distinctions. EGFR mutations were significantly more common in responders (22/29 vs 0/23; P < .001). Immunohistochemistry and chromogenic in situ hybridization results were not significantly correlated with EGFR mutations or response to TKIs in this study.
Overall, histologic differences exist between tumors that respond to TKIs and those that do not, although sampling affects classification, and there is significant histologic overlap between the 2 groups. Response is strongly associated with EGFR mutations.
Somatic LKB1 mutations are found in lung adenocarcinomas at different frequencies in Caucasian and East Asian (Japanese and Korean) populations. This study was designed to characterize the frequency of LKB1 mutations, their relationship to EGFR and KRAS mutations, and their associated clinicopathologic characteristics in Chinese patients.
Two hundred thirty-nine lung adenocarcinomas consecutively collected from October 2007 to July 2009 were dissected into 3 to 4 small (3 mm) pieces for histopathological analyses of tumor content. Genomic DNA and/or cDNA from 86 samples with more than 70% tumor content were used for sequencing of LKB1 (exons 1–9), EGFR (exons 18–21), and KRAS (exon 2). LKB1 germline mutation status was determined by sequencing of genomic DNA from matched histologically distant lung tissues that are histologically normal.
6.9% of lung adenocarcinomas harbored LKB1 somatic mutations. A total of 10.5% of patients had an LKB1 germline polymorphism, F354L. Interestingly, in two of these patients, tumors displayed loss of heterozygosity at this allele. EGFR kinase domain and KRAS mutations were found in 66.3% and 2.3% of Chinese lung adenocarcinomas, respectively. Concurrent LKB1 and EGFR somatic mutations were observed in one patient. Both KRAS-mutant tumors harbored LKB1 mutations.
These data provide important clinical and molecular characteristics of lung adenocarcinomas from Chinese patients.
Chinese lung adenocarcinoma; LKB1; EGFR; KRAS; Mutation
Mutation of the gene PARK2, which encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is the most common cause of early-onset Parkinson's disease1, 2, 3. In a search for multisite tumor suppressors, we identified PARK2 as a frequently targeted gene on chromosome 6q25.2–q27 in cancer. Here we describe inactivating somatic mutations and frequent intragenic deletions of PARK2 in human malignancies. The PARK2 mutations in cancer occur in the same domains, and sometimes at the same residues, as the germline mutations causing familial Parkinson's disease. Cancer-specific mutations abrogate the growth-suppressive effects of the PARK2 protein. PARK2 mutations in cancer decrease PARK2's E3 ligase activity, compromising its ability to ubiquitinate cyclin E and resulting in mitotic instability. These data strongly point to PARK2 as a tumor suppressor on 6q25.2–q27. Thus, PARK2, a gene that causes neuronal dysfunction when mutated in the germline, may instead contribute to oncogenesis when altered in non-neuronal somatic cells.
Lung cancer remains one of the leading causes for cancer-related death in developed countries. In lung adenocarcinomas, EGFR mutations and EML4-ALK fusions are associated with response to EGFR and ALK inhibition. By contrast, therapeutically exploitable genetic alterations have been lacking in squamous-cell lung cancer. We conducted a systematic search for alterations that are therapeutically amenable and performed high-resolution gene-copy number analyses in a set of 232 lung cancer specimens. We identified frequent and focal FGFR1 amplification in squamous-cell lung cancer (n=155), but not in other lung cancer subtypes, and confirmed its presence in an independent cohort of squamous-cell lung cancer samples employing FISH (22% of cases). Using cell-based screening with the FGFR inhibitor (PD173074) in a large (n=83) panel of lung cancer cell lines, we demonstrated that this compound inhibited growth (p=0.0002) and induced apoptosis (p=0.008) specifically in those lung cancer cells carrying amplified FGFR1. We validated the dependency on FGFR1 of FGFR1-amplified cell lines by knockdown of FGFR1 and by ectopic expression of a resistance allele of FGFR1 (FGFR1V561M), which rescued FGFR1-amplified cells from PD173074-mediated cytotoxicity. Finally we showed that inhibition of FGFR1 with a small molecule led to significant tumor shrinkage in vivo. Focal FGFR1 amplification is common in squamous-cell lung cancer and associated with tumor growth and survival, suggesting that FGFR inhibitors may be a viable therapeutic option in this cohort of patients.