Germline cancer susceptibility gene variants, somatic second hits, and survival outcomes in patients with resected pancreatic cancer

Published on Jan 1, 2019in Genetics in Medicine8.904
· DOI :10.1038/S41436-018-0009-5
Matthew B. Yurgelun23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Harvard University),
Anu Chittenden10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Harvard University)
+ 35 AuthorsBrian M. Wolpin64
Estimated H-index: 64
(Harvard University)
Germline variants in double-strand DNA damage repair (dsDDR) genes (e.g., BRCA1/2) predispose to pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and may predict sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy and poly(ADP) ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. We sought to determine the prevalence and significance of germline cancer susceptibility gene variants in PDAC with paired somatic and survival analyses. Using a customized next-generation sequencing panel, germline/somatic DNA was analyzed from 289 patients with resected PDAC ascertained without preselection for high-risk features (e.g., young age, personal/family history). All identified variants were assessed for pathogenicity. Outcomes were analyzed using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression. We found that 28/289 (9.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.5–13.7%) patients carried pathogenic/likely pathogenic germline variants, including 21 (7.3%) dsDDR gene variants (3 BRCA1, 4 BRCA2, 14 other dsDDR genes [ATM, BRIP1, CHEK2, NBN, PALB2, RAD50, RAD51C]), 3 Lynch syndrome, and 4 other genes (APC p.I1307K, CDKN2A, TP53). Somatic sequencing and immunohistochemistry identified second hits in the tumor in 12/27 (44.4%) patients with germline variants (1 failed sequencing). Compared with noncarriers, patients with germline dsDDR gene variants had superior overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] 0.54; 95% CI 0.30–0.99; P = 0.05). Nearly 10% of PDAC patients harbor germline variants, although the majority lack somatic second hits, the therapeutic significance of which warrants further study.
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