Tumor molecular profiling is a fundamental component of precision oncology, enabling the identification of genomic alterations in genes and pathways that can be targeted therapeutically. The existence of recurrent targetable alterations across distinct histologically-defined tumor types, coupled with an expanding portfolio of molecularly-targeted therapies, demands flexible and comprehensive approaches to profile clinically significant genes across the full spectrum of cancers. We established a large-scale, prospective clinical sequencing initiative utilizing a comprehensive assay, MSK-IMPACT, through which we have compiled matched tumor and normal sequence data from a unique cohort of more than 10,000 patients with advanced cancer and available pathological and clinical annotations. Using these data, we identified clinically relevant somatic mutations, novel non-coding alterations, and mutational signatures that were shared among common and rare tumor types. Patients were enrolled on genomically matched clinical trials at a rate of 11%. To enable discovery of novel biomarkers and deeper investigation into rare alterations and tumor types, all results are publicly accessible.
There is substantial heterogeneity among primary prostate cancers, evident in the spectrum of molecular abnormalities and its variable clinical course. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we present a comprehensive molecular analysis of 333 primary prostate carcinomas. Our results revealed a molecular taxonomy in which 74% of these tumors fell into one of seven subtypes defined by specific gene fusions (ERG, ETV1/4, FLI1) or mutations (SPOP, FOXA1, IDH1). Epigenetic profiles showed substantial heterogeneity, including an IDH1-mutant subset with a methylator phenotype. Androgen receptor (AR) activity varied widely and in a subtype-specific manner with SPOP and FOXA1 mutant tumors having the highest levels of AR-induced transcripts. 25% of the prostate cancers had a presumed actionable lesion in the PI3K or MAPK signaling pathways, and DNA repair genes were inactivated in 19%. Our analysis reveals molecular heterogeneity among primary prostate cancers, as well as potentially actionable molecular defects.
We conducted comprehensive integrative molecular analyses of the complete set of tumors in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), consisting of approximately 10,000 specimens and representing 33 types of cancer. We performed molecular clustering using data on chromosome-arm-level aneuploidy, DNA hypermethylation, mRNA, and miRNA expression levels and reverse-phase protein arrays, of which all, except for aneuploidy, revealed clustering primarily organized by histology, tissue type, or anatomic origin. The influence of cell type was evident in DNA-methylation-based clustering, even after excluding sites with known preexisting tissue-type-specific methylation. Integrative clustering further emphasized the dominant role of cell-of-origin patterns. Molecular similarities among histologically or anatomically related cancer types provide a basis for focused pan-cancer analyses, such as pan-gastrointestinal, pan-gynecological, pan-kidney, and pan-squamous cancers, and those related by stemness features, which in turn may inform strategies for future therapeutic development.
The pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes The expansion of whole-genome sequencing studies from individual ICGC and TCGA working groups presented the opportunity to undertake a meta-analysis of genomic features across tumour types. To achieve this, the PCAWG Consortium was established. A Technical Working Group implemented the informatics analyses by aggregating the raw sequencing data from different working groups that studied individual tumour types, aligning the sequences to the human genome and delivering a set of high-quality somatic mutation calls for downstream analysis (Extended Data Fig. 1). Given the recent meta-analysis
Sarcomas are a broad family of mesenchymal malignancies exhibiting remarkable histologic diversity. We describe the multi-platform molecular landscape of 206 adult soft tissue sarcomas representing 6 major types. Along with novel insights into the biology of individual sarcoma types, we report three overarching findings: 1) unlike most epithelial malignancies, these sarcomas (excepting synovial sarcoma) are characterized predominantly by copy number changes, with low mutational loads and only a few genes (TP53, ATRX, RB1) highly recurrently mutated across sarcoma types, 2) within sarcoma types, genomic and regulomic diversity of driver pathways defines molecular subtypes associated with patient outcome, and 3) the immune microenvironment, inferred from DNA methylation and mRNA profiles, associates with outcome and may inform clinical trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Overall, this large-scale analysis reveals previously unappreciated sarcoma type-specific changes in copy number, methylation, RNA, and protein, providing insights into refining sarcoma therapy and relationships to other cancer types.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is not a single disease, but several histologically defined cancers with different genetic drivers, clinical courses, and therapeutic responses. The current study evaluated 843 RCC from the three major histologic subtypes, including 488 clear cell RCC, 274 papillary RCC, and 81 chromophobe RCC. Comprehensive genomic and phenotypic analysis of the RCC subtypes reveals distinctive features of each subtype that provide the foundation for the development of subtype-specific therapeutic and management strategies for patients affected with these cancers. Somatic alteration of BAP1, PBRM1, and PTEN and altered metabolic pathways correlated with subtype-specific decreased survival, while CDKN2A alteration, increased DNA hypermethylation, and increases in the immune-related Th2 gene expression signature correlated with decreased survival within all major histologic subtypes. CIMP-RCC demonstrated an increased immune signature, and a uniform and distinct metabolic expression pattern identified a subset of metabolically divergent (MD) ChRCC that associated with extremely poor survival.
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