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Foundation Medicine Genomic Data Used to Identify Prognostic Markers and Fusion Genes in Multiple Myeloma

The purpose of this study is to identify prognostic markers and treatment targets using a clinically certified sequencing panel in multiple myeloma. Mutational burden was associated with maf and proliferation gene expression groups, and a high-mutational burden was associated with a poor prognosis. We identified homozygous deletions that were present in multiple myeloma within key genes, including CDKN2C, RB1, TRAF3, BIRC3 and TP53, and that bi-allelic inactivation was significantly enriched at relapse. Alterations in CDKN2C, TP53, RB1 and the t(4;14) were associated with poor prognosis. Alterations in RB1 were predominantly homozygous deletions and were associated with relapse and a poor prognosis which was independent of other genetic markers, including t(4;14), after multivariate analysis. Bi-allelic inactivation of key tumor suppressor genes in myeloma was enriched at relapse, especially in RB1, CDKN2C and TP53 where they have prognostic significance. In addition, chromosomal rearrangements that result in oncogenic kinase activation are present in many solid and hematological malignancies, but none have been reported in multiple myeloma (MM). Here we detected fusion genes in 1.5% of patients. These fusion genes were in-frame and the majority of them contained kinase domains from either receptor tyrosine kinases (ALK, ROS1, NTRK3, and FGFR1) or cytoplasmic kinases (BRAF, MAP3K14, and MAPK14) which would result in the activation of MEK/ERK, NF-κB or inflammatory signaling pathways. Fusion genes were present in smoldering MM, newly diagnosed MM and relapse patient samples indicating they are not solely late events. Most fusion genes were subclonal in nature, but one EML4-ALK fusion was clonal indicating it is a driver of disease pathogenesis. Samples with fusions of receptor tyrosine kinases were not found in conjunction with clonal Ras/Raf mutations indicating a parallel mechanism of MEK/ERK pathway activation. Fusion genes involving MAP3K14 (NIK), which regulates the NF-κB pathway, were detected as were t(14;17) rearrangements involving NIK in 2% of MM samples. Activation of kinases in myeloma through rearrangements presents an opportunity to use treatments existing in other cancers.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001004113 Illumina HiSeq 4000 1281
Publications Citations
Bi-allelic inactivation is more prevalent at relapse in multiple myeloma, identifying RB1 as an independent prognostic marker.
Blood Cancer J 7: 2017 e535
Kinase domain activation through gene rearrangement in multiple myeloma.
Leukemia 32: 2018 2435-2444