Need Help?

1 Intratumoral genetic heterogeneity and clonal evolution following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) in locally advanced rectal tumors.

Purpose: Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) is the standard treatment forpatients with locally advanced rectal cancer. However, little is known about the effect of nCRT in the mutational landscape and intratumoral genetic heterogeneity (ITGH) of rectal tumors. Moreover, response to nCRT vary substantially among patients and the genetic determinants of treatment response are not fully understood. Here, we sought to determine the impact of nCRT in the mutational landscape and ITGH of rectal tumors and to identify putative drivers of therapeutic resistance. Patients and Methods: We analyzed whole-exome sequencing (WES) and clinical data from 79 primary non-treated rectal cancers obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We also compared the mutational landscape of a matched set of peripheral blood cells, irradiated tumor-adjacent colonic mucosa and pre and post-treatment tumor samples to determine the iatrogenic effects of nCRT and its impact in tissue genetic heterogeneity. Finally, we performed WES of 7 matched pre and post-treatment tumor samples to examine how nCRT affects the clonal architecture of rectal tumors. Results: We show that rectal tumors exhibit remarkable ITGH, which increases with disease progression. We also show that nCRT, per se, does not introduce novel somatic mutations, nor alters the clonal architecture of the irradiated colonic mucosa. Instead, we show that it acts as a potent selective pressure, favoring the expansion of tumor cell subpopulations more prone to resist therapy and increasing ITGH in the residual tumor. Conclusion: Our results reveal the highly heterogeneous and dynamic clonal architecture of rectal tumors undergoing nCRT. Our results also uncover putative genetic determinants of response to nCRT and a possible role for ITGH in predicting treatment outcome.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001004378 AB 5500xl Genetic Analyzer 22
Publications Citations
The Effects of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation in Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer-The Impact in Intratumoral Heterogeneity.
Front Oncol 9: 2019 974