Deciphering intra-tumor heterogeneity of lung adenocarcinoma confirms that dominant, branching, and private gene mutations occur within individual tumor nodules

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While pulmonary adenocarcinoma (ADC) is morphologically heterogeneous, little is known about intra-tumor gene mutation heterogeneity (ITH). We therefore subjected 20 ADC nodules, 5 mutated for EGFR and 5 for KRAS, 5 with an ALK translocation, and 5 wild type (WT) for these alterations, to unsupervised next-generation sequencing of tumor regions from diverse architectural patterns. When 2 or more different gene mutations were found in a single tumor, this fulfilled the criteria for ITH. In the 84 studied tumor regions with diverse architecture, 71 gene mutations and 34 WT profiles were found. ITH was observed in 9/15 (60 %) ADC, 3 with an EGFR, 3 with a KRAS, and 3 with an ALK aberration, as reflected in 5, 6, and 9 additional mutations, respectively, detected in these tumors. EGFR mutations were observed in 21/22 and KRAS mutations in 18/22 tumor regions, suggesting that they appear early and have a driver role (dominant or trunk mutations). Branching mutations (in EZH2, PIK3CA, TP53, and EGFR exon 18) occurred in two or more regions, while private mutations (in ABL1, ALK, BRAF, HER2, KDR, LKB1, PTEN, MET, SMAD4, SMARCB1, and SRC) were confined to unique tumor samples of individual lesions, suggesting that they occurred later on during tumor progression. Patients with a tumor showing branching mutations ran a worse clinical course, independent of confounding factors. We conclude that in ADC, ITH exists in a pattern suggesting spatial and temporal hierarchy with dominant, branching, and private mutations. This is consistent with diverse intra-tumor clonal evolution, which has potential implications for patient prognosis or development of secondary therapy resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalVirchows Archiv
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 7 2016

Keywords

  • ALK
  • Branching
  • Dominant
  • EGFR
  • Gene
  • Intra-tumor heterogeneity
  • KRAS
  • Mutation
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Private/private/hitchhiker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Deciphering intra-tumor heterogeneity of lung adenocarcinoma confirms that dominant, branching, and private gene mutations occur within individual tumor nodules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this