An aggressive subtype of stage I lung adenocarcinoma with molecular and prognostic characteristics typical of advanced lung cancers

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Purpose: The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial has confirmed that lung cancer mortality can be reduced if tumors are diagnosed early, that is, at stage I. However, a substantial fraction of stage I lung cancer patients still develop metastatic disease within 5 years from surgery. Prognostic biomarkers are therefore needed to identify patients at risk of an adverse outcome, who might benefit from multimodality treatment. Experimental Design: We extensively validated a 10-gene prognostic signature in a cohort of 507 lung adenocarcinoma patients using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples. Furthermore, we performed an integrated analysis of gene expression, methylation, somatic mutations, copy number variations, and proteomic profiles on an independent cohort of 468 patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Results: Stage I lung cancer patients (N= 351) identified as highrisk by the 10-gene signature displayed a 4-fold increased risk of death [HR= 3.98; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.73-9.14], with a 3-yearoverall survivalof 84.2%(95%CI, 78.7-89.7) comparedwith 95.6%(92.4-98.8) inlow-risk patients. The analysisof TCGAcohort revealed that the 10-gene signature identifies a subgroup of stage I lung adenocarcinomas displaying distinct molecular characteristics and associated with aggressive behavior and poor outcome. Conclusions: We validated a 10-gene prognostic signature capable of identifying a molecular subtype of stage I lung adenocarcinoma with characteristics remarkably similar to those of advanced lung cancer. We propose that our signature might aid the identification of stage I patients who would benefit from multimodality treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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