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Integration of genomics and histology reveals diagnosis and effective therapy of refractory cancer of unknown primary with PDL1 amplification (H021)

Identification of the tissue of origin in cancer of unknown primary (CUP) poses a diagnostic challenge and is critical for directing site-specific therapy. Currently, clinical decision making in patients with CUP primarily relies on histopathology and clinical features. Comprehensive molecular profiling has the potential to contribute to diagnostic categorization and, most importantly, guide CUP therapy through identification of actionable lesions. We here report the case of an advanced-stage malignancy initially mimicking poorly differentiated soft-tissue sarcoma that did not respond to multi-agent chemotherapy. Molecular profiling within a clinical whole-exome and transcriptome sequencing program revealed a heterozygous, highly amplified KRAS G12S mutation, compound-heterozygous TP53 mutation/deletion, high mutational load, and focal amplification of chromosomes 9p (including PDL1 [CD274] and JAK2) and 10p (including GATA3). Integrated analysis of molecular data and conventional histopathology suggested a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and provided a rationale for immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy with pembrolizumab, which resulted in rapid clinical improvement and a lasting partial remission. Analysis of 157 TNBC samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas revealed focal, high-level PDL1 amplification coinciding with excessive PDL1 mRNA expression in 24% of cases. Collectively, these results illustrate the diagnostic utility of multidimensional tumor profiling in cases with non-descript histology and immune phenotype, demonstrate the predictive power of genomic PDL1 amplification for immune checkpoint inhibition, and suggest a targeted therapeutic strategy in chromosome 9p24.1/PDL1-amplified cancers.H021

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001002162 Illumina HiSeq 2500 2
EGAD00001002163 Illumina HiSeq 2500 1
Publications Citations
Integration of genomics and histology revises diagnosis and enables effective therapy of refractory cancer of unknown primary with <i>PDL1</i> amplification.
Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2: 2016 a001180